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Storage systems vary in the way they perform data striping. For instance, a system may stripe data at the byte, block or partition level, and it
can stripe data across all or only some of the disks in a cluster. For instance, a storage system with 10 hard disks might stripe a 64 KB block on
the first, second, third, fourth and fifth disks and then start over again at the first disk. Another system might stripe 1 megabyte (MB) on each of
its 10 disks before returning to the first disk to repeat the process.

Pros and cons of disk striping


The main advantage of disk striping is higher performance. For example, striping data across three hard disks would provide three times the
bandwidth of a single drive. If each drive runs at 200 input/output operations per second (IOPS), disk striping would make available up to 600
IOPS for data reads and writes.

The disadvantage of disk striping is low resiliency. The failure of any physical drive in the striped disk set results in the loss of the data on the
striped unit, and consequently, the loss of the entire data set stored across the set of striped hard disks.

Disk striping and RAID


Redundant array of independent disks (RAID) uses disk striping to distribute and store data across multiple physical drives. Disk striping is
synonymous with RAID 0 and spreads the data across all the disk drives in a RAID group without parity. Disk striping without parity is not fault
tolerant.

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Disk striping without RAID may be used for temporary data, scratch space, or in situations where a master copy of the data is easily
recoverable from another storage device.

Disk striping with parity


To address the potential for data loss with RAID 0, a RAID set typically uses at least one stripe for parity. The parity information is commonly
calculated by using the binary exclusive or (XOR) function and stored on a physical drive in the RAID set. If a storage drive in the striped RAID
set fails, the data is recoverable from the remaining drives and the parity stripe.

For a data set with n drives, the data might be striped on drives n through n-minus-1, and the nth drive would be reserved for parity. For
example, in a RAID set with 10 drives, data could be striped to nine drives, and the 10th drive would be used for parity.

Disk striping with RAID provides redundancy and reliability. RAID 4 and RAID 5 protect against a single drive failure. RAID 6 uses two drives for
parity and protects against two drive failures. Data protection can be extended beyond two storage device failures using erasure coding.

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9/26/2017 What is disk striping? - Definition from WhatIs.com
One disadvantage of disk striping with parity is the performance penalty for small random writes, as the system accesses all the stripe units in
the striped RAID set.

Disk striping and disk mirroring


Disk striping can be combined with disk mirroring, or RAID 1, to speed performance and expand capacity by striping data across multiple sets
of mirrored drives. The disadvantage of disk striping with mirroring is the 50% overhead inherent in using half the capacity to make an exact
copy of the data for protection.

Z
Margaret Rouseasks:

Will disk striping without parity or with RAID make more sense for your data set?

Join the Discussion

This was last updated in March 2015


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Oldest5

[-] Margaret Rouse


- 25 Mar 2015 7:30 AM
t

Will disk striping without parity or with RAID make more sense for your data set?

Reply

[-] timethy2
- 10 Apr 2015 12:57 PM
t

We only use disk striping without parity in limited instances, for obvious reasons. Most of our data is way too valuable to risk, and our IOPS requirements aren't that intense.
We'd rather spend the money for redundancy and have the data, that not do it and risk any data loss. Even for our transactional applications that's the case, because we have
to keep records of all transactions, and we get fined if we don't comply.

Reply

[-] abdely
- 22 Nov 2015 6:55 AM
t

I join Mr timethy2 in his claim cause critical data such as transaction records or employees information to name but a few should be stored in safe and well protected storage
places. However, performance and redundancy are also important subjects to consider especially when you're dealing with great amount of data. So, I think that the choice to
make is a serious one and can reorientthe whole enterprise'sfuture.

Reply

[-] Sharon Fisher


- 28 Mar 2015 5:28 PM
t

I have to say it's difficult for me to see a use case where performance is more important than resiliency. All the performance in the world isn't going to help if you end up not
being able to read the data afterwards.

Reply

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