2.1. Modern Disk Drives

The magnetic disk drive technology has benefited from more than two decades of research and development. It has evolved to provide a low latency (in the order of milliseconds) and a low cost per megabyte (MByte) of storage (a few cents per MByte at the time of this writing in 2003). It has become commonplace with annual sales in excess of 30 billion dollars [124]. Magnetic disk drives are commonly used for a wide variety of storage purposes in almost every computer system. To facilitate their integration and compatibility with a wide range of host hardware and operating systems, the interface that they present to the rest of the system is well defined and hides a lot of the complexities of the actual internal operation. ...

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