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You wouldn't store full copies, you'd stripe it across multiple machines using some type of error correction coding, like Reed-Solomon, which has less than 2x overhead.



I'm thinking of it in terms of RAID.

You are talking about RAID5. However, RAID5 is useless if more than a few disks go offline at the same time.

RAID1/10 is most useful when there's a higher chance of multiple disks failing at a time, or when the odds of multiple disks failing in your RAID5, while low, are unacceptable.

Of course there are other things at work when you talk RAID0/5/10, but this is a large part of it.

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