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7.3 John O'Brien and RAID-7


This article is from the storage FAQ part1, by Rodney D. Van Meter with numerous contributions by others.

7.3 John O'Brien and RAID-7

    RAID-7 is a marketting term created by Storage Computer, Inc. for what
others here have described as RAID-4 with a write cache. John O'Brien
(RAID7@world.std.com), (their marketting manager?) frequently posts

His claims of ~10x improvement on I/O rates for VAXes have been shown
to be poorly measured; the change in systems was not simply a
RAID-for-modern-disk swap, but included increasing the CPU power by a
factor of three and eliminating the HSC and old disk technology. He
has also made difficult-to-substantiate claims about the growth and
market success of his company relative to competitors. Thus, wise
advice would be to take everything Mr. O'Brien says with a grain of
salt (not bad advice for dealing with anyone, but especially true for
dealing with vendors).

The debate also appears here frequently as to whether or not you
really WANT your RAID array doing write cacheing; Unix file systems
may depend on specific ordering of writes and otherwise make
assumptions that could leave you in trouble with power or disk
failures. If write ordering is preserved, the danger is somewhat

That said, some posters here are pleased with their RAID7 arrays, and
although comp.arch.storage opinion runs prevalently against Mr.
O'Brien himself (and lately his pal Michael Willett who interestingly
is quoted here from before he worked for Storage Computer), the
possibility exists that the product is worthwhile.


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