RAID Technology for Central LAN File-Servers

Computer Centre has recently employed the RAID technology for the centrally managed LAN file-servers so as to increase the reliability and availability of the heavily used file-servers.

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. It is a technology that offers data protection through the storage of redundant information across an array of disks. Even if one of the RAID disks fails, the LAN file-server employing RAID disks will be able to run without interruption because data integrity is guaranteed by other non-faulty disks. The faulty disk can be removed from the RAID cabinet and replaced with a new disk, without shutting down the non-faulty disks or the LAN file-server.

The RAID software and hardware sub-system will regenerate the data on the new disk within a few hours with the redundant information stored across the RAID disks. As long as a second disk does not fail during the restoring process, the RAID disks will function as if no failure had occurred. Since many cases of LAN file-server crashes are due to disk failures and large volumes of data of LAN file-servers take many hours to restore from backup tapes, the down time of our LAN file-servers could be reduced with the introduction of the use of RAID disks.

The following LAN file-servers have been installed with RAID disks as of November 1997:
 
 

  • HKUPC1
serving the PC Laboratories in Run Run Shaw Building, Knowles Building, and Tsui Long Sing Amenities Centre
  • HKURM1
serving departments in the Runme Shaw Building
  • HKUKK2
serving departments in the K. K. Leung Building
  • HKUHW1
serving departments in the Haking Wong Building
  • HKUQP1
serving departments in the Queen Mary Hospital
 

Tony F.K. Lai
Tel: 2859 7976
E-mail: lfk@cc.hku.hk


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