Panasas Announces Tiered Parity Architecture

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Storage solutions vendor Panasas has announced this week its new “tiered parity architecture.” The company is calling this “the most significant extension to disk array data reliability since …[the] pioneering RAID research at UC-Berkeley in 1988.”

According to Panasas CTO and RAID pioneer Garth Gibson

“The challenges with storage system reliability today have little to do with overall disk reliability, which is what RAID was designed to address in 1988. The issues that we see today are directly related to disk density and require new approaches. Most secondary disk failures today are the result of media errors, which have become 250 times more likely to occur during a RAID failed-disk rebuild over the last 10 years,” said Garth Gibson, CTO of Panasas. “Tiered Parity allows us to tackle media errors with an architecture that can counter the effects of increasing disk density. It also solves data path reliability challenges beyond those addressed by traditional RAID and extends parity checking out to the client or server node. Tiered Parity provides the only end-to-end data integrity checking capability in the industry.”

The technology uses three tiers to help ensure data reliability.

Horizontal Parity uses the current Panasas Object-RAID to provide protection from disk failure across the entire storage array. This unique technology provides scalable RAID recovery, parallel reconstruction, and per-file fault isolation.

Vertical Parity, a new technology from Panasas, detects and fixes media errors on disk before the failure can interfere with RAID recovery. This new technology fixes the leading cause of failed RAID recovery operations.

Network Parity, which provides the industry’s first end-to-end data integrity capability, enables a compute node to be absolutely certain of the integrity of data it reads over the network from the Panasas Parallel Storage Cluster.

Read the full story at HPCwire.


  1. […] Panasas made several storage announcements. First, they’ve rolled the previously announced tiered parity solution in a shipping product. Then there are enhancements to existing hardware at the high end […]