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Many applications, especially those that run on servers, are I/O intensive and therefore require high-performance storage systems. These high-end storage systems consume a large amount of power, the bulk of which is due to the disk drives. Optimizing disk architectures is a design-time, as well as a run-time, issue, and requires performance and power trade-offs. A hard disk designer needs to balance between the disk rotational speed (Rotations Per Minute, RPM), platter sizes, and the number of platters. The RPM and platter sizes affect performance, and all three have an impact on power. A data center manager might have specific energy budgets within which she has to extract as much performance as possible. Applications themselves may have specific optimization requirements.
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