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Vol. 2 No. 11 January 2004

Beware of Big Disk Drives

As disk drive capacities keep going up, storage managers need to keep in mind how they will recover the data in case the drive fails. That's especially true of today's ATA drives, which tip the scales at 320GB, and fail relatively frequently. Even when drives are RAID protected, it can take several hours to rebuild from a drive failure. Randy Arnott, RAID architect with startup RAIDCore, estimates that it would take 10,000 seconds, or 2.7 hours, to rebuild a single drive in an eight-drive 1TB RAID set, assuming rebuild rates of about 100MB/s. Granted, "that's still better performance than most SCSI arrays," Arnott says. But considering that today's biggest SCSI drive (146GB) is less than half the size of today's largest ATA drives, you are limited in how big of a RAID set you can build--and consequently, how long it takes to recover from a failure. There are also those that worry about a second disk failing before a RAID set has been rebuilt. That concern is behind Network Appliance's recent announcement of RAID-DP, which stands...

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Features in this issue

  • Recent Funding

    Cash for several storage startups

  • Plan on disk-based backup

    by  Shane O'Neill

    Will 2004 be a breakthrough year for disk-based backup solutions? A new survey of Storage readers finds that while users are reluctant to completely eliminate tape from their backup environments, many are planning to deploy disk to complement tape in the next year.

  • Modular arrays earn new trust

    Modular arrays have come a long way recently, but are you ready to risk all of your company's mission-critical data on them?

  • Getting ready for IP SANs

    by  James Damoulakis

    IP SANs promise benefits to groups within your organization that up until now haven't had access to these kinds of capabilities. But before you even think of deploying an IP SAN, read this article.

Columns in this issue