Storage Bottleneck

Definition - What does Storage Bottleneck mean?

A bottleneck is a situation in communications or IT systems where the flow of data gets impaired or stopped completely due to bad performance or lack of resources. A storage bottleneck is a bottleneck situation occurring in storage systems. A poor storage fabric design could be a reason for storage bottlenecks. Bottlenecks can severely affect the performance of the system and cause application crashes.

Techopedia explains Storage Bottleneck

Data storage bottlenecks are a bad situation in computing, where in the available resources or storage design is unable to facilitate efficient handling of the available data. A mix of the right storage tools and IT expertise is required to eliminate storage bottlenecks.

Bottlenecks give rise to serious performance issues and often lead to application crashes. Storage bottlenecks can clog ports, controllers and disk drives. Some of the common areas where storage bottlenecks occur include:

  • Storage area networks (SAN) – If there is an inadequate number of ports in the front end of the storage networks, it may lead to oversaturation of resources and hence lead to bottlenecks.
  • Congestion of host bus adapters, traffic overload and inefficient load balancing across ports can also cause bottlenecks.
  • Storage controllers – There is a limit to the performance that can be expected from a standard active-active or a active-passive controller. I/O saturation at the controller and high throughput are some reasons for bottlenecks.
  • Cache – Insufficient cache memory and overloading of cache can cause bottlenecks.
  • Disk drives – Too many hit requests to disks and an insufficient number of drives may not be enough to support high workloads, and thus cause bottlenecks.

To eliminate storage bottlenecks, it is necessary to construct a good data storage network design and consider the system as a whole. Integration of solid state into the storage system and making sure the system is not itself a bottleneck is important to ensure a good performance.

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