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EVENODD: An Efficient Scheme for Tolerating Double Disk Failures in RAID Architectures
February 1995 (vol. 44 no. 2)
pp. 192-202

Abstract— We present a novel method, that we call EVENODD, for tolerating up to two disk failures in RAID architectures. EVENODD employs the addition of only two redundant disks and consists of simple exclusive-OR computations. This redundant storage is optimal, in the sense that two failed disks cannot be retrieved with less than two redundant disks. A major advantage of EVENODD is that it only requires parity hardware, which is typically present in standard RAID-5 controllers. Hence, EVENODD can be implemented on standard RAID-5 controllers without any hardware changes. The most commonly used scheme that employes optimal redundant storage (i.e., two extra disks) is based on Reed–Solomon (RS) error-correcting codes. This scheme requires computation over finite fields and results in a more complex implementation. For example, we show that the complexity of implementing EVENODD in a disk array with 15 disks is about 50% of the one required when using the RS scheme.

The new scheme is not limited to RAID architectures: it can be used in any system requiring large symbols and relatively short codes, for instance, in multitrack magnetic recording. To this end, we also present a decoding algorithm for one column (track) in error.

Index Terms—RAID architectures, erasure-correcting codes, Reed–Solomon codes, disk arrays.

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Mario Blaum, Jim Brady, Jehoshua Bruck, Jai Menon, "EVENODD: An Efficient Scheme for Tolerating Double Disk Failures in RAID Architectures," IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 192-202, Feb. 1995, doi:10.1109/12.364531
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