Google Research

Tiger: disk-adaptive redundancy without placement restrictions

  • Arif Merchant
  • Francisco Maturana
  • Gregory R. Ganger
  • Rashmi KV
  • Sanjith Athlur
  • Saurabh Kadekodi
Tiger: disk-adaptive redundancy without placement restrictions (2022)


Large-scale cluster storage systems use redundancy (via erasure coding) to ensure data durability. Disk-adaptive redundancy—dynamically tailoring the redundancy scheme to observed disk failure rates—promises significant space and cost savings. Existing disk-adaptive redundancy systems, however, pose undesirable constraints on data placement, partitioning disks into subclusters with homogeneous failure rates and forcing each erasure-coded stripe to be entirely placed on the disks within one subcluster. This design increases risk, by reducing intra-stripe diversity and being more susceptible to unanticipated changes in a make/model’s failure rate, and only works for very large storage clusters fully committed to disk-adaptive redundancy.

Tiger is a new disk-adaptive redundancy system that efficiently avoids adoption-blocking placement constraints, while also providing higher space-savings and lower risk relative to prior designs. To do so, Tiger introduces the eclectic stripe, in which disks with different failure rates can be used to store a stripe that has redundancy tailored to the set of failure rates of those disks. With eclectic stripes, pre-existing placement policies can be used while still enjoying the space-savings and robustness benefits of disk-adaptive redundancy. This paper introduces eclectic striping and Tiger’s design, including a new mean time-to-data-loss (MTTDL) approximation technique and new approaches for ensuring safe per-stripe settings given that failure rates of different devices change over time. Evaluation with logs from real-world clusters show that Tiger provides better space-savings, less bursty IO for changing redundancy schemes, and better robustness (due to increased risk-diversity) than prior disk-adaptive redundancy designs.

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