Parallel Disks

Database Systems - CS2300 - 30 January 2018

Disk Pack: Group of disks


  • Increases performance and reliability with Data Striping
  • Allows for reconstruction if a disk fails with Redundancy

Data striping

  • Distributing data over multiple disks
  • Striping Unit: size of segments located on each drive


  • Check Disks: Store redundant data on small number of separate disks
  • Distribute the redundant data uniformly over all disks
  • Parity Schemes: Additional information that can be used to recover from a failure of any one disk

Types of RAID:

  • Level 0: Striping without Redundancy
    • Highest write speed
    • Highest space utilization
    • Not the highest read speed
  • Level 1: Mirrored disk (Shadow)
    • Lowest space utilization
    • Parallel reads are allowed
    • Data is secure, as there is a full backup
    • Maximum transfer speed is equal to that of one of the disks
  • Level 0 + 1: Striped and Mirrored
    • Parallel reads are allowed
    • Space utilization is same as Level 1 (Low)
    • Write involves two disks and cost of write is the same as Level 1
    • Transfer rate is equal to the aggregate bandwidth of the disks
  • Level 2: Error Correcting Codes
    • The striping unit is a single bit
    • Hamming coding is used as a redundancy scheme
    • Space utilization increases as the number of data disks increases
    • Maximum transfer rate is equal to the aggregate bandwidth of the disks
      • Read is very efficient for large requests
      • Read is very bad for small requests of the size of an individual block
      • Why is this?
  • Level 3: Bit Interleaved Parity
    • The striping unit is a single bit
    • Unlike Level 2, the check disk is just a single parity disk, disk utilization is higher
    • Write protocol is similar to Level 2 - read-modify-write cycle
    • Similar to Level 2, can process one I/O at a time. Each read/write request involves all disks
  • Level 4: Block Interleaving Parity
    • The striping unit is a single block
    • Read requests of the size of a single block can be served just by one disk
    • Parallel reads are possible for small requests, large request can utilize full bandwidth
    • Space utilization increases with more disks
    • Read should be faster than Level 3
  • Level 5: Block Interleaving Distributed Parity
    • Parity blocks are uniformly distributed among all disks. No bottleneck at check disks
    • Several writes can be done in parallel
    • Read requests have a higher level of parallelism
  • Level 6: P+Q Redundancy
    • Can tolerate higher level of failures than Level 2
    • Requires two check disks
    • For small and large read requests, and large write requests, the performance is similar to level 5.
    • For small write requests, it behaves the same