News Column

Patent Issued for Implementing a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives

August 21, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Bandholz, Justin P. (Cary, NC); Reinberg, Kevin M. (Chapel Hill, NC); Weinstein, Philip L. (Apex, NC), filed on June 26, 2007, was published online on August 5, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8799570 is International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The field of the invention is data processing, or, more specifically, methods, apparatus, and products for implementing a RAID array.

"The development of the EDVAC computer system of 1948 is often cited as the beginning of the computer era. Since that time, computer systems have evolved into extremely complicated devices. Today's computers are much more sophisticated than early systems such as the EDVAC. Computer systems typically include a combination of hardware and software components, application programs, operating systems, processors, buses, memory, input/output devices, and so on. As advances in semiconductor processing and computer architecture push the performance of the computer higher and higher, more sophisticated computer software has evolved to take advantage of the higher performance of the hardware, resulting in computer systems today that are much more powerful than just a few years ago.

"One of the areas in which progress has been made is in non-volatile computer memory such as hard disk drives. A single internal hard disk drive, however, lacks redundancy. To gain redundancy, either more drives need to be added to the system, which requires more space and power, or external drives may be connected for redundancy, RAID arrays, SAN arrays, and so on. Another mechanism to gain similar functionality is to use a Cluster File System such as GFS. However, nodes that participate in a CFS are unable to boot from the file system or operate independently of system status, since it exists at the operating system level."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Methods, apparatus, and products are disclosed for implementing a redundant array of inexpensive drives (`RAID`) with an external RAID controller and hard disk drives from separate computers, including configuring by the external RAID controller a RAID array, the RAID array comprising hard disk drives from the separate computers, the external RAID controller comprising a hardware RAID controller installed externally with respect to the separate computers, and storing, by one or more of the separate computers through the external RAID controller, computer data on the RAID array.

"The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular descriptions of exemplary embodiments of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numbers generally represent like parts of exemplary embodiments of the invention."

For additional information on this patent, see: Bandholz, Justin P.; Reinberg, Kevin M.; Weinstein, Philip L.. Implementing a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives. U.S. Patent Number 8799570, filed June 26, 2007, and published online on August 5, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Software, International Business Machines Corporation.

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Source: Computer Weekly News

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