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Information dispersal algorithms are algorithms that are used for routing pieces of a data set to different storage locations in order to allow for more sophisticated data management. In other words, they provide a method for storing data or pieces of it in different disks for redundancy purposes.
In general, information dispersal algorithms take a particular data set and scatter it into different storage media or take some parts of a data set on different trajectories to eventual storage locations. In some cases, information dispersal algorithms abstract data packets by cutting them up into "slices" or pieces, and routing these different pieces to different disks or other storage destinations. Information dispersal algorithms are often used for redundancy so that if one disk is compromised, the data itself will not be compromised. Network engineers may use certain methodologies for working with data in transit such as using virtual private networks to support agile retrieval of data after it has been stored in these tiny pieces.
Information dispersal algorithms are used in various situations. They may be used, for example, with a redundant array of independent disks (RAID) design, although some experts suggest that the information dispersal algorithm approach builds on the traditional RAID design to offer even more advanced redundant and secure storage.