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RAIDnWhitePaper10

RAIDnWhitePaper10

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03/18/2014

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Copyright InoStor Corporation
1
05/09/03
RAIDn:
Optimal Multiple Disk Loss Insurance
WHITE PAPER
By
Lawrence J. Dickson, Ph.D.
May 12, 2003
Copyright InoStor Corporation
2
05/09/03
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................3
COST BENEFIT PATTERNS................................................................................3
Current RAID Methods for Protecting Against Multiple Drive Failures are

Wasteful.............................................................................................................5
RAIDn is a Proven Alternative............................................................................5
REAL SPEED.......................................................................................................6
RAIDnARCHITECTURE....................................................................................... 7
BASIC BLOCK DEVICE.....................................................................................7
MULTIPLE RAIDn DEVICES MOUNTING LIST.................................................7
PARITY GENERATION AND PARITY-BASED DECODING.............................7
SHORTENING AND LENGTHENING................................................................8
INITIALIZATION, RECONSTRUCTION AND CONVERSION...........................8
UNDERLYING DEVICE REQUEST COMPLETION AND STATE SENSING....8
COMPATIBILITY RAID TRANSFER..................................................................9
RAIDn IMPLEMENTATION \u2013 CODE & HARDWARE STRUCTURE.....................9
RAIDn DATA FLOW STRUCTURES...................................................................11

RAIDn White Paper
Copyright InoStor Corporation
3
05/09/03
INTRODUCTION

There is no issue more critical to large data storage centers than the preservation
and integrity of their data. A small cluster of physical or electrical malfunctions
can, in the blink of an eye, cause more economic damage than a devastating
warehouse fire. Yet data storage redundancy techniques, a key component in the
necessary defense against such disasters, still are based on two simple
algorithms developed years ago - mirroring and parity summing. Their
shortcomings are only slightly masked by combining them with each other and
with data striping in various compound patterns.

The ideal technique would adjust to the amount of disk-loss insurance the user
needed, instead of forcing a pattern of protection (and vulnerability) on the user
based on the capabilities of the two algorithms mentioned above. InoStor
Corporation has developed and perfected a matrix array of patented1 techniques
that take protection against multiple drive failures far beyond conventional RAID
capabilities. In the theme of taking RAID to the \u201cnth power,\u201d InoStor has applied
the name RAIDn to all of the matrix variants underlying this revolutionary
technology.

COST BENEFIT PATTERNS

The standard RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) techniques used for
redundancy are RAID-1 (mirroring) and RAID-5 (parity summing). Also important
is RAID-0 (striping) which gives speed, not redundancy. Used alone, RAID-1
gives n-1 disks redundancy and only one disk worth of data (usually n=2), while
RAID-5 gives one-disk redundancy and (n-1) disks worth of data.

Let\u2019s analyze some typical combinations, say in 9- and 10-drive disk packs, for
conventional RAID arrays. The relevant factors to be considered are:
\u2666 Safe loss count or minimum redundancy (maximum number of disks lost that
can ALWAYS be recovered)
\u2666 Maximum loss count or maximum redundancy (maximum number of disks
lost that can EVER be recovered)

\u2666Data capacity
\u2666 Ideal read speed, and
\u2666 Ideal write speed (the last three compared with a single disk).

Then we\u2019ll compare them to corresponding RAIDn designs. All of the packs considered will be assumed to have pattern designs that maximize read and write speed for large files and parallel data flows to/from disks. The "ideal"

1 US Patent number 6,557,123

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