Browse Definitions:
Definition

Multipath I/O (MPIO)

Contributor(s): Rick Cook, Ivy Wigmore

Multipath I/O (MPIO) is a Microsoft framework designed to mitigate the effects of a host bus adapter (HBA) failure by providing an alternate data path between storage devices and a Windows operating system. MPIO enables up to 32 alternate paths to add redundancy and load balancing for Windows storage environments. 

Pathing is a networking approach used to address the specific needs of storage networks by changing the way that communication paths are managed and organized. Unlike connection failures in message networks -- which generally just require that the connection be retried -- in storage networks, a failure is more likely to cause a system crash. Storage networks also require faster error recovery. 

Technically, MPIO represents a hybrid approach to multipathing, combining software specific to each HBA -- the Device Specific Module (DSM) -- with the MPIO features integrated into the Windows operating system. While the DSMs must be written for specific hardware and cannot be generic, Microsoft designed MPIO to be as HBA-agnostic as possible. As such, it depends on the rest of the hardware and software to work correctly in order to do its job.

MPIO requires at least two HBAs connected to the storage device. (A dual-port HBA may provide two data paths, but it still represents a single point of failure.) In a storage area network (SAN) you also need to ensure that any switches or routers laying in the data path have enough path management intelligence to handle disruptions caused by an HBA failure.

This was last updated in July 2012

Continue Reading About Multipath I/O (MPIO)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

  • conduct risk

    Conduct risk is the prospect of financial loss to an organization that is caused by the actions of an organization's ...

SearchSecurity

  • security

    Security, in information technology (IT), is the defense of digital information and IT assets against internal and external, ...

  • insider threat

    An insider threat is a malicious hacker (also called a cracker or a black hat) who is an employee or officer of a business, ...

  • virus (computer virus)

    A computer virus is malicious code that replicates by copying itself to another program, computer boot sector or document.

SearchHealthIT

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule

    The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, establishes ...

  • HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA)

    Under the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, a HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA) is a ...

  • telemedicine

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

  • fault-tolerant

    Systems with integrated fault tolerance are designed to withstand multiple hardware failures to ensure continuous availability.

SearchStorage

  • Secure Digital card (SD card)

    SD cards use flash memory to provide nonvolatile storage. They are more rugged than traditional storage media and are used in ...

  • data storage

    In a computer, storage is the place where data is held in an electromagnetic or optical form for access by a computer processor.

  • flash storage

    Flash-based storage, based on flash memory, is used for data repositories, storage systems and consumer devices, such as USB ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • flash file system

    Flash file systems are designed specifically for memory devices. A well-designed flash device and flash file system ensure ...

  • IOPS (input/output operations per second)

    IOPS measures the maximum number of reads and writes to non-contiguous storage. It is not an actual benchmark since vendor ...

  • eMMC (embedded MultiMediaCard)

    An embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) is a small storage device made up of NAND flash memory and a simple storage controller.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close