An overview of MAID

ubuntu-serversSGI, a technical computing manufacturer, produces a line of storage systems that incorporate green technologies. The COPAN line of storage products use the MAID storage methodology that presents the ability of powering down unused disks in the array while not in use, conserving power as a result. This is managed via internal “Power Managed RAID software” (Sgi, 2010). MAID, the acronym for Massive Array of Idle Disks, is suited for the environment that consists of long-term storage that requires write-once, read-occasionally data (WORO). MAID can be used in disk (virtual) libraries, also known as EDL (Enterprise Disk Library). This is energy efficient storage. SGI’s COPAN solution could be some tough competition against the Centera line from EMC. As of the time of this writing, I have not yet seen MAID technology on the archive systems from EMC.

Massive Array of Idle Disks (MAID) consists of a large disk group, consisting of hundreds or thousands of disks configured into RAID groups. Through internal power management code, only drives that are needed are activated at a time. This reduces drive wear and power consumption.


Sgi. MAID vs. Enterprise MAID. (2010). Retreived November 2, 2010 from

About Steve J
M.A. Information Systems

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