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This paper proposes a simple and practical RAID reconstruction optimization scheme, called JOurnal-guided Reconstruction (JOR). JOR exploits the fact that significant portions of data blocks in typical disk arrays are unused. JOR monitors the storage space utilization status at the block level to guide the reconstruction process so that only failed data on the used stripes is recovered to the spare disk. In JOR, data consistency is ensured by the requirement that all blocks in a disk array be initialized to zero (written with value zero) during synchronization while all blocks in the spare disk also be initialized to zero in the background.
JOR can be easily incorporated into any existing reconstruction approach to optimize it, because the former is independent of and orthogonal to the latter. Experimental results obtained from our JOR prototype implementation demonstrate that JOR reduces reconstruction times of two state-of-the-art reconstruction schemes by an amount that is approximately proportional to the percentage of unused storage space while ensuring data consistency.