A New Intra-Disk Redundancy Scheme for High-Reliability RAID Storage Systems in the Presence of Unrecoverable Errors

Copyright © (2008) by Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distrubuted for profit or commericial advantage. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.

Today's data storage systems are increasingly adopting low-cost disk drives that have higher capacity but lower reliability, leading to more frequent rebuilds and to a higher risk of unrecoverable media errors. We propose an efficient intradisk redundancy scheme to enhance the reliability of RAID systems. This scheme introduces an additional level of redundancy inside each disk, on top of the RAID redundancy across multiple disks. The RAID parity provides protection against disk failures, whereas the proposed scheme aims to protect against media-related unrecoverable errors. In particular, we consider an intradisk redundancy architecture that is based on an interleaved parity-check coding scheme, which incurs only negligible I/O performance degradation. A comparison between this coding scheme and schemes based on traditional Reed-Solomon codes and single-parity-check codes is conducted by analytical means. A new model is developed to capture the effect of correlated unrecoverable sector errors. The probability of an unrecoverable failure associated with these schemes is derived for the new correlated model as well as for the simpler independent error model. We also derive closed-form expressions for the mean time to data loss of RAID 5 and RAID 6 systems in the presence of unrecoverable errors and disk failures. We then combine these results to characterize the reliability of RAID systems that incorporate the intradisk redundancy scheme. Our results show that in the practical case of correlated errors, the interleaved parity check scheme provides the same reliability as the optimum, albeit more complex, Reed-Solomon coding scheme. Finally, the I/O and throughput performance are evaluated by means of analysis and event-driven simulations.

By: A. Dholakia, E. Eleftheriou, X.–Y. Hu, I. Iliadis, J. Menon, K.K. Rao

Published in: ACM Transactions on Storage, volume 4, (no 1), pages 1 in 2008


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