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Redundant array of independent nodes (RAIN) is a disk subsystem that provides distributed data storage and protection in network architecture by integrating inexpensive hardware and management software.
RAIN is designed to offer scalable and reliable network-attached storage (NAS) by combining off-the-shelf distributed computing and commodity hardware with sound management software. It is designed to improve on the shortcomings of non-redundant NAS systems. The concept of RAIN is derived from redundant array of independent disks (RAID), which is a similar system that is implemented at the disk level.
Redundant array of independent nodes may also be called redundant array of inexpensive nodes.
RAIN architecture was developed as a joint research program between the California Institute of Technology, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
RAIN technology is implemented to increase fault tolerance in a cluster. The storage clusters can be managed through a centralized management interface. The management software builds a virtual pool of storage devices without requiring the physical presence of network and storage administrators. The RAIN management software automatically detects any new RAIN nodes and allows them to communicate with each other.
In case of a node failure, the lost data is replicated among other RAIN nodes in a cluster to avoid immediate replacement of the failed node. RAIN-based grids are more resilient to application workload changes through effective load-balancing features.