Learning Guide

RAID tutorial: What's on the horizon for RAID?

RAID and the familiar RAID levels seem such a fundamental part of the storage landscape that it's difficult to imagine life without them. But the various existing ways of combining multiple disk drives with mirroring, striping and parity data to achieve resilience and increased performance are being superseded by numerous RAID alternatives that employ techniques such as triple mirroring, distributed block mirroring, networked RAID, self-healing drives and erasure codes. In this RAID tutorial, you'll find out about the shortcomings of RAID and the main RAID alternatives coming to market.

Post-RAID alternatives address RAID's shortcomings
Traditional RAID implementations have stood the test of time but are -- with ever-increasing drive sizes -- subject to greater likelihood of drive failure and lengthy RAID rebuild times. In this article, we examine the various RAID alternatives available, such as reduced parity algorithms, triple mirroring, distributed mirrors and parity, networked RAID, self-healing drives, and erasure codes.

Podcast: RAID rebuild pain points and the alternatives
In this podcast, Marc Staimer of Dragon Slayer Consulting talks about the pain of RAID rebuilds as an example of issues with RAID and the kinds of technologies that are beginning to address those problems, such as wide striping/parity and erasure codes.

Post-RAID products
This product roundup surveys the key post-RAID/RAID alternatives marketed by storage vendors. Products detailed include Atrato's Velocity 1000, Xiotech's Intelligent Storage Element, IBM's XIV, EMC's Atmos and Caringo's CAStor.

RAID rebuilds and self-healing data storage systems
As disk capacities increase in size, the duration of RAID rebuilds has increased proportionately. In answer to this, drive manufacturers have developed self-healing drives that address faults automatically, often in an ongoing fashion. Read this article to learn about the difference between RAID rebuilds and self-healing drives and about some of the key self-healing drive products on the market.

RAID changes its stripes, but not its value
Is RAID still relevant? Will we ever see RAID 7 and RAID 8? Do the new approaches such as distributed RAID, software mirroring and "post-RAID" mean that RAID has had its day? In this article, Senior News Director Dave Raffo takes a look at recent innovations in disk drive data protection and examines whether they mean the end for RAID or whether they are products of its evolution.

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This was first published in December 2010

 

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