Studying for the A+, Network+ or Security+ exams? Get over 2,600 pages of FREE study guides at CertiGuide.com!|
Join the PC homebuilding revolution! Read the all-new, FREE 200-page online guide: How to Build Your Own PC!
NOTE: Using robot software to mass-download the site degrades the server and is prohibited. See here for more.
Find The PC Guide helpful? Please consider a donation to The PC Guide Tip Jar. Visa/MC/Paypal accepted.
|Take a virtual vacation any time at DesktopScenes.com - view my art photos online for FREE in either Flash or HTML!|
"Just A Bunch Of Disks" (JBOD)
If you have some disks in a system that you decide not to configure into a RAID array, what do you do with them? Traditionally, they are left to act as independent drive volumes within the system, and that's how many people in fact use two, three or more drives in a PC. In some applications, however, it is desirable to be able to use all these disks as if they were one single volume. The proper term for this is spanning; the pseudo-cutesy term for it, clearly chosen to contrast against "redundant array of inexpensive disks", is Just A Bunch Of Disks or JBOD. How frightfully clever.
JBOD isn't really RAID at all, but I discuss it here since it is sort of a "third cousin" of RAID... JBOD can be thought of as the opposite of partitioning: while partitioning chops single drives up into smaller logical volumes, JBOD combines drives into larger logical volumes. It provides no fault tolerance, nor does it provide any improvements in performance compared to the independent use of its constituent drives. (In fact, it arguably hurts performance, by making it more difficult to use the underlying drives concurrently, or to optimize different drives for different uses.)
When you look at it, JBOD doesn't really have a lot to recommend it. It still requires a controller card or software driver, which means that almost any system that can do JBOD can also do RAID 0, and RAID 0 has significant performance advantages over JBOD. Neither provide fault tolerance, so that's a wash. There are only two possible advantages of JBOD over RAID 0:
Note: Some companies
use the term "spanning" when they really mean striping, so watch out for that!