Solaris Volume Manager Administration Guide

Introduction to Storage Management

How you choose to manage your storage determines how you control the devices that store the active data on your system. To be useful, active data must be available and remain persistent even after unexpected events, such as a hardware or software failure.

Storage Hardware

There are many different devices on which data can be stored. The selection of devices to best meet your storage needs depends primarily on three factors:

You can use Solaris Volume Manager to help manage the trade-offs in performance, availability, and cost. You can often mitigate many of the trade-offs with Solaris Volume Manager.

Solaris Volume Manager works well with any supported storage on any system that runs the Solaris operating system.

RAID Levels

RAID is an acronym for Redundant Array of Inexpensive (or Independent) Disks. RAID refers to a set of disks, called an array or a volume, that appears to the user as a single large disk drive. Depending on the configuration, this array provides improved reliability, response time, or storage capacity.

Technically, there are six RAID levels, 0-5. Each level refers to a method of distributing data while ensuring data redundancy. (RAID Level 0 does not provide data redundancy, but is usually included as a RAID classification anyway. RAID Level 0 provides the basis for the majority of RAID configurations in use.) Very few storage environments support RAID Levels 2, 3, and 4, so those environments are not described here.

Solaris Volume Manager supports the following RAID levels: