Monday, January 5, 2009

Computers have life? Hard-disk reacts badly to screaming

When J.C Bose first proved that plants have life, he used a crescograph and showed that pleasant music or a friendly chat with plants helped them grow faster. On the other hand, plants didn't like someone shouting on them... Now, as weird as it sounds, computers (hard-disks) also don't like it when someone shouts at them.

This was experimentally verified by Brendan Gregg from Sun Microsystems Fishworks lab where they create loud noises around a JBOD disk array. Due to the vocal vibrations, there is a spike in the I/O operations and a clear increase in the disk latency. The finding is interesting because it can be useful to make datacenters quieter to improve performance. The finding was put on Youtube on 31st Dec, 2008 and you can look at the video below:

So with that video you realize that computers don't like someone screaming at them. Next-time when Windows hangs on you, don't shout, your PC will slow-down further!! May be it has some form of life ;-)

1 comment:

Nishtha said...

I tried it on my SATA drive after looking into the video. I used HDTach and it showed some drop in the bandwidth... Not as much as in the video, but enough to realize that noise and vibrations do have an adverse effect... Imagine a continuous noise and surely the performance would be hit!