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Core Concepts

Table of Contents

Erasure Coding

MinIO Erasure Coding is a data redundancy and availability feature that allows MinIO deployments 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 less overhead than adjacent technologies such as RAID or replication.

Erasure Coding splits objects into data and parity blocks, where parity blocks support reconstruction of missing or corrupted data blocks. MinIO distributes both data and parity blocks across minio server nodes and drives in an Erasure Set. Depending on the configured parity, number of nodes, and number of drives per node in the Erasure Set, MinIO can tolerate the loss of up to half (N/2) of drives and still retrieve stored objects.

The following table lists the outcome of varying EC levels on a MinIO Tenant with a single 16-drive server pool:

Outcome of Parity Settings on a 16-Drive Server Pool


Total Storage

Storage Ratio

Minimum Drives for Read Operations

Minimum Drives for Write Operations

EC: 4

12 Tebibytes




EC: 6

10 Tebibytes




EC: 8

8 Tebibytes




Since parity blocks require storage space, higher levels of parity provide increased tolerance to drive or pod failure at the cost of total usable storage capacity.

MinIO supports two parity levels: Standard (default) and Reduced. The default parity levels for a Tenant depends on the MinIO version deployed on that Tenant:

  • For MinIO version RELEASE.2021-01-30T00-20-58Z and later, the default standard EC depends on the number of volumes in the erasure set:

    • For 8 or more volumes, EC:4

    • For 6-7 volumes, EC:3

    • For 4-5 volumes, EC:2

  • For MinIO version RELEASE.2021-01-16T02-19-44Z or earlier, the default EC is 1/2 the drives in the erasure set. For example, a 16-drive server pool has EC:8.

You can set a custom erasure code parity setting by specifying the MINIO_STORAGE_CLASS_STANDARD and MINIO_STORAGE_CLASS_REDUCED environment variables for standard and reduced parity respectively. Use the env to specify the environment variables as part of the MinIO Tenant YAML specification prior to creating the Tenant.

For more complete documentation on erasure coding, see Erasure Coding.

Bucket Versioning

MinIO supports keeping multiple “versions” of an object in a single bucket. Write operations which would normally overwrite an existing object instead result in the creation of a new versioned object. MinIO versioning protects from unintended overwrites and deletions while providing support for “undoing” a write operation. Bucket versioning also supports retention and archive policies.

MinIO generates a unique immutable ID for each object. If a PUT request contains an object name which duplicates an existing object, MinIO does not overwrite the “older” object. Instead, MinIO retains all object versions while considering the most recently written “version” of the object as “latest”. Applications retrieve the latest object version by default, but may retrieve any other version in the history of that object.

You can enable or disable bucket versioning at any time using the mc version enable command. See Bucket Versioning for more complete documentation.