Every enterprise storage system utilizes multiple forms of redundancy in order to protect data against loss when an inevitable array component failure occurs. RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) was invented to allow data to be spread across multiple drives for performance, but also to protect the data when a disk drive (and in later iterations, multiple disk drives) fail. RAID implementations have always been created with the assumption of spinning disk as the media choice, and as a result force undesirable trade-offs between performance, capacity overhead, and the level of data protection desired. Rather than simply adopt pre-existing RAID algorithms, XtremIO has reinvented data protection from the ground up to leverage the specific properties of flash media. The resulting data protection algorithm (XtremIO Data Protection, or XDP) in use on XtremIO arrays simultaneously combines the most desirable traits of traditional RAID algorithms, avoids their pitfalls, and brings entirely new and previously impossible capabilities to the XtremIO storage system. XtremIO Data Protection also significantly enhances the endurance of the underlying flash media compared to any previous RAID algorithm, an important consideration for an enterprise flash array. This white paper examines the XDP implementation and discusses its benefits and advantages over RAID; with special consideration given to the unique requirements of enterprise flash storage arrays.
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