• United States
Senior Editor

Storage sharing

Feb 11, 20042 mins
Data Center

* A look at the storage system architecture known as RAIN - Redundant Array of Inexpensive Nodes

This week’s Technology Update takes a look at the notion of using standard, off-the-shelf technologies to create a fast, reliable method of storing and replicating data.

Our author ( calls this storage system architecture a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Nodes (RAIN). Basically the concept involves stackable servers running as a network-attached storage appliances. These stackable servers connect via Gigabit Ethernet in a rack, which is managed virtually as a larger disk array. Gigabit Ethernet also connects the server racks to a LAN and to other larger RAIN arrays.

RAIN nodes are the archive repositories in the system, and can be managed and configured virtually through RAIN control software. Local network storage would be configured on RAIN nodes – such as shared drives on a LAN – and back-up jobs would be scheduled incrementally to the RAIN arrays.

According to our author, the management software can create virtual pools of storage and protection capacity. The software also manages all recovery operations related to one or more RAIN nodes becoming unavailable because of RAIN node or network failures. Another interesting item: RAIN nodes do not require immediate replacement upon failure because lost data is automatically re-replicated among the surviving RAIN nodes in the grid.

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