RAID: high-performance, reliable secondary storage
Disk arrays were proposed in the 1980s as a way to use parallelism between multiple disks to improve aggregate I/O performance. Today they appear in the product lines of most major computer manufacturers. This article gives a comprehensive overview of disk arrays and provides a framework in which to organize current and future work. First, the article introduces disk technology and reviews the driving forces that have popularized disk arrays: performance and reliability. It discusses the two architectural techniques used in disk arrays: striping across multiple disks to improve performance and redundancy to improve reliability. Next, the article describes seven disk array architectures, called RAID (Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks) levels 0–6 and compares their performance, cost, and reliability. It goes on to discuss advanced research and implementation topics such as refining the basic RAID levels to improve performance and designing algorithms to maintain data consistency. Last, the article describes six disk array prototypes of products and discusses future opportunities for research, with an annotated bibliography disk array-related literature.