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A single flash-based Solid State Drive (SSD) can not satisfy the capacity, performance and reliability requirements of a modern storage system supporting increasingly demanding data-intensive computing applications. Applying RAID schemes to SSDs to meet these requirements, while a logical and viable solution, faces many challenges. In this paper, we propose a Hybrid Parity-based Disk Array architecture, HPDA, which combines a group of SSDs and two hard disk drives (HDDs) to improve the performance and reliability of SSD-based storage systems. In HPDA, the SSDs (data disks) and part of one HDD (parity disk) compose a RAID4 disk array. Meanwhile, a second HDD and the free space of the parity disk are mirrored to form a RAID1-style write buffer that temporarily absorbs the small write requests and acts as a surrogate set during recovery when a disk fails. The write data is reclaimed back to the data disks during the lightly loaded or idle periods of the system. Reliability analysis shows that the reliability of HPDA, in terms of MTTDL (Mean Time To Data Loss), is better than that of either pure HDD-based or SSD-based disk array. Our prototype implementation of HPDA and performance evaluations show that HPDA significantly outperforms either HDD-based or SSD-based disk array.
Date of Conference: 19-23 April 2010