Storage arrays (also called disk arrays) are a particular kind of networking device used to store and manage large amounts of data in a highly-organized and easily accessible way. They can vary in size, depending upon implementation and network structure. Some storage arrays are essentially specialized computers manufactured specifically for file storage. Other storage arrays are systems of rackmount components designed to create a network of high-capacity data storage. In either case, disk drives are at the core of every storage array system.
Rackmount storage arrays, used in large, corporate server rooms and data centers, are modular. The drives that provide the storage space are installed in a number of rackmount trays. Each tray typically holds between 12-15 drives. These trays then connect together via a separate storage controller unit to form a large block of data storage. These systems also have built in power supplies and cooling systems to maintain steady operation. Due to their modular design, these rackmount storage arrays are highly scalable. Additional drives, trays and controller units can be added or removed to meet the storage demands of the network. In typical implementation, rackmount systems are designed to have multiple, redundant components, like duplicate controller units. This prevents the storage array from having a single point of failure, and protects the stored data if a component crashes.
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