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We introduce Shear, a user-level software tool that characterizes RAID storage arrays. Shear employs a set of controlled algorithms combined with statistical techniques to automatically determine the important properties of a RAID system, including the number of disks, chunk size, level of redundancy, and layout scheme. We illustrate the correctness of Shear by running it upon numerous simulated configurations, and then verify its real-world applicability by running Shear on both software-baseddoi:10.1145/1037947.1024401 fatcat:nbykww4dtzfafj76c4p233bysm