Documentation

Documentation

Core Operational Concepts

What are the components of a MinIO Deployment?

A MinIO deployment consists of a set of storage and compute resources running one or more minio server nodes that together act as a single object storage repository.

A standalone instance of MinIO consists of a single Server Pool with a single minio server node. Standalone instances are best suited for initial development and evaluation.

A MinIO deployment can run directly on a physical device in a bare metal or non-virtualized infrastructure. Or, MinIO might run within a virtual machine on a cloud service, such as using Docker, Podman, or Kubernetes. MinIO can run locally, on a private cloud, or in any of the many public clouds available on the market.

The specific way you design, architect, and build your system is called the system’s topology.

What system topologies does MinIO support?

MinIO can deploy to three types of topologies:

  1. Single Node Single Drive, one MinIO server with a single drive or folder for data

    For example, testing on a local PC using a folder on the computer’s hard drive.

  2. Single Node Multi Drive, one MinIO server with multiple mounted drives or folders for data

    For example, a single container with two or more mounted volumes.

  3. Multi Node Multi Drive, multiple MinIO servers with multiple mounted drives or volumes for data

    For example, a production deployment using Kubernetes to manage and deploy pods and their associated persistent volume claims.

How does a distributed MinIO deployment work?

A distributed deployment makes use of the resources of more than one physical or virtual machine’s compute and storage resources. In modern situations, this often means running MinIO in a private or public cloud environment, such as with Amazon Web Services, the Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft’s Azure platform, or many others.

How does MinIO manage multiple virtual or physical servers?

While testing MinIO may only involve a single drive on a single computer, most production MinIO deployments use multiple compute and storage devices to create a high availability environment. A server pool a set of minio server nodes that pool their drives and resources to support object storage write and retrieval requests.

MinIO supports adding one or more server pools to existing MinIO deployments for horizontal expansion. When MinIO has multiple server pools available, an individual object always writes to the same server pool. If one server pool goes down, objects on other pools remain accessible.

The HOSTNAME argument passed to the minio server command represents a Server Pool:

Consider the following example startup command, which creates a single Server Pool with 4 minio server nodes of 4 drives each for a total of 16 drives.

minio server https://minio{1...4}.example.net/mnt/disk{1...4}

             |                    Server Pool                |

Starting server pools in the same minio server startup command enables awareness of all server pool peers.

See minio server for complete syntax and usage.

Can I change the size of an existing MinIO deployment?

MinIO distributed deployments support expansion and decommissioning as functions to increase or decrease the available storage.

Expansion consists of adding one or more server pools to an existing deployment. Each server pool consists of dedicated nodes and storage that contribute to the overall capacity of the deployment.

See Expand a MinIO Tenant for more information.

For deployments which have multiple server pools, you can decommission the older pools and migrate that data to the newer pools in the deployment. Once started, decommissioning cannot be stopped. MinIO intends decommissioning for use with removing older pools with aged hardware, and not as an operation performed regularly within any deployment.

How do I manage one or more MinIO instances or clusters?

There are several options to manage your MinIO deployments and clusters:

How does MinIO provide availability, redundancy, and reliability?

MinIO Uses Erasure Coding for Data Redundancy and Reliability

MinIO Erasure Coding is a data redundancy and availability feature that allows MinIO deployments with multiple drives to automatically reconstruct objects on-the-fly despite the loss of multiple drives or nodes in the cluster. Erasure Coding provides object-level healing with significantly less overhead than adjacent technologies such as RAID or replication.

MinIO Implements Bit Rot Healing to Protect Data At Rest

Bit rot is the random, silent corruption to data that can happen on any storage device. Bit rot corruption is not prompted by any activity from a user, nor does the system’s operating system alone have awareness of the corruption to notify a user or administrator about a change to the data.

Some common reasons for bit rot include:

  • ageing drives

  • current spikes

  • bugs in disk firmware

  • phantom writes

  • misdirected reads/writes

  • driver errors

  • accidental overwrites

MinIO uses a hashing algorithm to confirm the integrity of an object. If an object becomes corrupted by bit rot, MinIO can automatically heals the object depending on the system topology and availability.

MinIO Distributes Data Across Erasure Sets for High Availability and Resiliency

An erasure set is a group of multiple drives that supports MinIO Erasure Coding. Erasure Coding provides high availability, reliability, and redundancy of data stored on a MinIO deployment.

MinIO divides objects into chunks — called shards — and evenly distributes them among each drive in the Erasure Set. MinIO can continue seamlessly serving read and write requests despite the loss of any single drive. At the highest redundancy levels, MinIO can serve read requests with minimal performance impact despite the loss of up to half (\(N / 2\)) of the total drives in the deployment.

MinIO calculates the size and number of Erasure Sets in a Server Pool based on the total number of drives in the set and the number of minio servers in the set. See Erasure Sets for more information.

MinIO Automatically Heals Corrupt or Missing Data On-the-fly

Healing is MinIO’s ability to restore data after some event causes data loss. Data loss can come from bit rot, drive loss, or node loss.

Erasure coding provides continued read and write access if an object has been partially lost.

MinIO Writes Data Protection at the Object Level with Parity

A MinIO deployment with multiple drives divides the available drives into data drives and parity drives. MinIO Erasure Coding adds additional hashing information about the contents of an object to the parity drives when writing an object. MinIO uses the parity information to confirm the integrity of an object and, if necessary, to restore a lost, missing, or corrupted object shard on a given disk or set of disks.

MinIO can tolerate losing up to the total number of drives equal to the number of parity devices available in the erasure set while still providing full access to an object.

Deliver Read and Write Functions with Quorum

A minimum number of drives that must be available to perform a task. MinIO has one quorum for reading data and a separate quorum for writing data.

Typically, MinIO requires a higher number of available drives to maintain the ability to write objects than what is required to read objects.