Stored data needs to be protected against device failure and irrecoverable sector read errors, yet doing so at exabyte scale can be challenging given the large number of failures that must be handled. We have developed RESAR (Robust, Efficient, Scalable, Autonomous, Reliable) storage, an approach to storage system redundancy that only uses XOR-based parity and employs a graph to lay out data and parity. The RESAR layout offers greater robustness and higher flexibility for repair at the same overhead as a declustered version of RAID 6. For instance, a RESAR-based layout with 16 data disklets per stripe has about 50 times lower probability of suffering data loss in the presence of a fixed number of failures than a corresponding RAID 6 organization. RESAR uses a layer of virtual storage elements to achieve better manageability, a broader potential for energy savings, as well as easier adoption of heterogeneous storage devices.
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