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Access "Are cheap mirrors better than RAID?"

Published: 19 Oct 2012

Here's a question for you: If hard disk drives get cheap enough, will storage system vendors start to bypass complex, parity-based data protection schemes like RAID 5? It's an idea whose time may have come. Consider ExaGrid Systems, a network-attached storage (NAS) startup in Westborough, MA, which last month announced the general availability of Advanstor, a storage system that incorporates NAS, backup, automated data migration--aka hierarchical storage management (HSM)--as well as remote replication and disaster recovery, but forgoes RAID altogether. "It's not that there's anything wrong with RAID--there isn't," says Mark Kaufman, ExaGrid president and CEO. "But for us, it just added cost and complexity without adding much value." Instead of RAID within the array, Advanstor protects the data on its primary storage tier by mirroring it multiple times to separate, inexpensive storage nodes, "GRIDdisks" in ExaGrid-speak. GRIDdisks are 1U servers equipped with four 250GB SATA drives in a JBOD configuration, plus ExaGrid's proprietary software. By default, the ... Access >>>

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