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  1. This paper studies how RAID (redundant array of independent disks) could take full advantage of modern SSDs (solid-state drives) with built-in transparent compression. In current practice, RAID users are forced to choose a specific RAID level (e.g., RAID 10 or RAID 5) with a fixed storage cost vs. speed performance trade-off. The commercial market is witnessing the emergence of a new family of SSDs that can internally perform hardware-based lossless compression on each 4KB LBA (logical block address) block, transparent to host OS and user applications. Beyond straightforwardly reducing the RAID storage cost, such modern SSDs make it possible to relieve RAID users from being locked into a fixed storage cost vs. speed performance trade-off. In particular, RAID systems could opportunistically leverage higher-than-expected runtime user data compressibility to enable dynamic RAID level conversion to improve the speed performance without compromising the effective storage capacity. This paper presents techniques to enable and optimize the practical implementation of such elastic RAID systems. We implemented a Linux software-based elastic RAID prototype that supports dynamic conversion between RAID 5 and RAID 10. Compared with a baseline software-based RAID 5, under sufficient runtime data compressibility that enables the conversion from RAID 5 to RAID 10 over 60% of user data, the elastic RAID could improve the 4KB random write IOPS (I/O per second) by 42% and 4KB random read IOPS in degraded mode by 46%, while maintaining the same effective storage capacity. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 5, 2024
  2. null (Ed.)