Data striping

Data striping

In computer data storage, data striping is the segmentation of logically sequential data, such as a single file, so that segments can be assigned to multiple physical devices (usually disk drives in the case of RAID storage, or network interfaces in the case of Grid-oriented Storage) in a round-robin fashion and thus written concurrently.

This technique is useful if the processor is capable of reading or writing data faster than a single disk can supply or accept it. While data is being transferred from the first disk, the second disk can locate the next segment. Striping can be either of type coarse or fine.

Data striping is used in some modern databases, such as Sybase, and in certain RAID devices under software or hardware control, such as IBM's RAMAC array subsystem. File systems of clusters also use striping. Oracle Automatic Storage Management allows asm files to be either coarse or fine striped.

Data striping is different from mirroring, though they may be used in conjunction.

Advantage: performance and throughput. In some RAID configurations (such as a RAID-5 with a parity drive) if one drive fails and the system crashes, the data can be restored by utilizing the other drives in the array. Disadvantage: in some RAID configurations (such RAID-0) if one RAID disk fails, this file (and all other data), will be lost, because the file is saved in parts, divided into several disks belonging to the RAID.

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