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PARAID: A Gear-Shifting Power-Aware RAID
Reducing power consumption for server computers is important, since increased energy usage causes increased heat dissipation, greater cooling requirements, reduced computational density, and higher operating costs. For a typical data center, storage accounts for 27% of energy consumption. Conventional server-class RAIDs cannot easily reduce power because loads are balanced to use all disks even for light loads.
We have built the Power-Aware RAID (PARAID), which reduces energy use of commodity server-class disks without specialized hardware. PARAID uses a skewed striping pattern to adapt to the system load by varying the number of powered disks. By spinning disks down during light loads, PARAID can reduce power consumption, while still meeting performance demands, by matching the number of powered disks to the system load. Reliability is achieved by limiting disk power cycles and using different RAID encoding schemes. Based on our five-disk prototype, PARAID uses up to 34% less power than conventional RAIDs, while achieving similar performance and reliability.
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