An Introduction to RAID. Giovanni Stracquadanio

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1 An Introduction to RAID Giovanni Stracquadanio

2 Outline A definition of RAID An ensemble of RAIDs JBOD RAID Configuring and testing a Linux RAID system

3 Motivation Actually, the mass storage devices rely upon mechanical hard drives (HD). Despite the incoming SSDs, the classical HDs remain the preferred solution for computers ranging from notebook to servers. HDs guarantee a huge amount of space with a very small cost/gb. Moreover, modern disks have an improved reliability.

4 Motivation HDs are mechanical devices. A write on a disk requires a disk rotation a correct writing head positioning a stable electrical signal Performance are affected by rpm of the disk, the seek time, the number of plates, the memory buffer, etc. Despite the average life of a modern HD is ~30k hours, they are not a reliable system for data storage and backups.

5 Motivation We need a mass storage device with the following features: Reliable Effective Fast Cheap

6 A definition of RAID Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (Patterson, 1988) Redundant Array of Independent Disks (more accepted now). Features Reliable Effective Fast Cheap (not necessarily!!!)

7 A definition of RAID 1. A RAID is a set of standard HDs that are treated as a single logical drive by the OS. 2. A RAID spreads transparently the data on multiple disk. 3. A RAID uses extra storage information to store control codes useful in recovering data after a failure. The standard defines 6 levels of RAID, not a hierarchy, that differ in the implementation of the point 2. and 3.

8 Requirements A RAID requires: A set of disks A controller The controller is the device responsible for reading/writing data on the disks and for consistency check. The controller could be: Software (managed by the OS) Hardware (ad-hoc controller on board, PCI cards, etc).

9 JBOD The JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) is not a truly RAID solution. JBOD is usefull for using a set of different disks as a big one. It does not guarantee reliability or performance improvement. Since the disks are linked togheter, when one disk fails the entire JBOD is un-usable.

10 RAID0 A RAID 0 split data across n-disks (n>=2) without any redundancy information. A RAID0 treats data as set ok m-stripes, with each one made of k-sectors. When the OS calls the write routine of the controller, it splits the data into l-stripes and write them on the disks in parallel. Instead, when the OS calls the read routine, the controller makes a parallel reads and it returns the whole data.

11 RAID0

12 RAID0 Pros Rapid read operation (if parallel read is supported) Cheap Cons The size of the RAID is equal to the smallest disk size The write and read operations are fast as the slowest disk. No data redundancy

13 RAID 1 RAID1 is the first that assures all the RAID features. In a RAID1, each disk is mirrored. Writing data to the RAID requires a write on each disk. Instead, the data can be read from any disk.

14

15 RAID 1 Pros Reliable: there is always a copy of each disk. No downtime: simply swap the broken disk Fast read Cons Expensive: for a n-disk RAID1, you need 2n disks. The RAID dimension is equal to the smallest drive of the RAID Total data loss, if two disks are broken.

16 RAID2 Disks are synchronized Very small stripes Often single byte/word Error correction calculated across corresponding bits on disks Multiple parity disks store Hamming code error correction in corresponding positions Lots of redundancy Expensive: log(n) data-disks for parity check Not used

17 RAID0 vs RAID1 vs RAID2

18 RAID 3 Similar to RAID 2, but it works at byte level Only one redundant disk, no matter how large the array Simple parity bit for each set of bits Data on failed drive can be reconstructed from surviving data and parity info Very high transfer rates

19 RAID4 Each disk operates independently A block for each disk One parity disk for any number of data-disk Large stripes Bit by bit parity calculated across stripes on each disk Parity stored on parity disk Good for high I/O request rate

20 RAID 3 vs RAID 4

21 RAID5 Like RAID 4 Parity striped across all disks: each stripe has a parity block. Round robin allocation for parity stripe. Avoids RAID 4 bottleneck at parity disk Commonly used in network servers

22 RAID5

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