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2.3.2. Striped Logical Volumes

When you write data to an LVM logical volume, the file system lays the data out across the underlying physical volumes. You can control the way the data is written to the physical volumes by creating a striped logical volume. For large sequential reads and writes, this can improve the efficiency of the data I/O.
Striping enhances performance by writing data to a predetermined number of physical volumes in round-round fashion. With striping, I/O can be done in parallel. In some situations, this can result in near-linear performance gain for each additional physical volume in the stripe.
The following illustration shows data being striped across three physical volumes. In this figure:
  • the first stripe of data is written to PV1
  • the second stripe of data is written to PV2
  • the third stripe of data is written to PV3
  • the fourth stripe of data is written to PV1
In a striped logical volume, the size of the stripe cannot exceed the size of an extent.
Striping Data Across Three PVs
Striping Data Across Three Physical Volumes
Figure 2.5. Striping Data Across Three PVs

Striped logical volumes can be extended by concatenating another set of devices onto the end of the first set. In order extend a striped logical volume, however, there must be enough free space on the underlying physical volumes that make up the volume group to support the stripe. For example, if you have a two-way stripe that uses up an entire volume group, adding a single physical volume to the volume group will not enable you to extend the stripe. Instead, you must add at least two physical volumes to the volume group. For more information on extending a striped volume, see Section 4.4.13, “Extending a Striped Volume”.

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