There is nothing new under the sun…turn, turn, turn

Who put the I in RAID?

Marla Hughes shared a post from Nikolaos Dimopoulos entitled How to build an inexpensive RAID for storage and streaming.

Depending upon your age, the phrase “inexpensive RAID” may be redundant. FOLDOC explains:

RAID ==>

Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks

(RAID. Originally “Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks”) A project at the computer science department of the University of California at Berkeley, under the direction of Professor Katz, in conjunction with Professor John Ousterhout and Professor David Patterson….

The original (“..Inexpensive..”) term referred to the 3.5 and 5.25 inch disks used for the first RAID system but no longer applies.

Well, I guess it applies if you follow the lead of Nikolaos Dimopoulos and buy a Lenovo computer.

The discussion inspired me to dig out my copy of The RAIDbook, the Fourth Edition (1994). Page 4 of the 1994 book references “Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks,” but page 182 of the book references a seminal 1988 paper by Patterson, Katz, and Garth A. Gibson entitled “A Case for Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks.”

So the change from “inexpensive” to “independent” took place in a few short years.

But a lot has happened since 1994. Take this quote from page 4 of The RAIDbook:

A billion bytes of magnetic storage, that twenty years ago required as much space and electrical power as several washing machines, can now be easily held in one’s hand.

18 years later, Dimopoulos speaks of a RAID using 1 terabyte hard drives. That’s a trillion bytes, for those keeping score at home. You would have needed one thousand hands to hold a terabyte of storage back in 1994. I can’t imagine how many washing machines that would have been in the 1970s.

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