Figure 14–1 illustrates a RAID-5 volume that consists of four disks (components).
The first three data segments are written to Component A (interlace 1), Component B (interlace 2), and Component C (interlace 3). The next data segment that is written is a parity segment. This parity segment is written to Component D (P 1–3). This segment consists of an exclusive OR of the first three segments of data. The next three data segments are written to Component A (interlace 4), Component B (interlace 5), and Component D (interlace 6). Then, another parity segment is written to Component C (P 4–6).
This pattern of writing data and parity segments results in both data and parity being spread across all disks in the RAID-5 volume. Each drive can be read independently. The parity protects against a single disk failure. If each disk in this example were 2 Gbytes, the total capacity of the RAID-5 volume would be 6 Gbytes. One drive's worth of space is allocated to parity.