The rapid growth of electronic data processing over the past two decades has been characterized by an almost insatiable appetite for larger and faster memories. In fact, over this period of time, on-line storage capacity has increased about three times as much as CPU power. Yet, in spite of this impressive growth rate, memory represents perhaps the most limiting area in the development of more advanced computer systems. Furthermore, the increasing diversity of storage devices and the wide disparity in the price-performance of these devices, present a difficult challenge to the system designer, and account for a large part of the complexity of the software and hardware system to manage the storage facilities.
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