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Other vendors seek to leverage their architectures to speed rebuild time and reduce the risk of data loss if multiple drives fail. When a file is written, the data and parity is distributed across the available disk drives in the cluster. In the event of a drive failure, the data required for a rebuild is spread across multiple nodes in the cluster, so drives across the entire cluster are leveraged.
Shifting data protection strategies from a hardware-based approach to a software-based approach creates new possibilities. With a hardware-based protection scheme, the choice is often between protecting all of the data or none. Information-based protection opens the door to the possibility of more granular, policy-based information protection.
The bottom line is that different storage characteristics are required for various data types. Hardware RAID schemes continue to be a good solution for lower capacity, faster drives and won't go away any time soon. But it wouldn't be surprising to see information-based data protection schemes become more mainstream in tier 1 storage products over time, as vendors continue to simplify administration and build information-centric systems.
There are plenty of vendors offering information-based data protection schemes or rapid rebuild technology. Even in a tough economy, the number of vendors offering technology that accelerates or reduces the need for rebuilds seems to be growing. Remember that when you're evaluating
This was first published in January 2009