What is a RAID array?

You will probably have heard the term RAID either when purchasing a high end desktop or laptop computer or more frequently when deciding to add network storage.

​RAID Technology was developed as a way of utilizing multiple drives that operate together to effectively act as a single drive which will provide faster data processing speed & higher storage capacity.

The other key benefit is the provision of better protection against data being lost due to instances of hardware failure through its fault tolerance which will allow the array drives & their data to remain operable if one of the drives should fail.

RAID is an acronym for Redundant Array of Independent Disks & there are several types of RAID array configurations available, the most commonly used being:

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10

The main differences between them is the manner in which they are configured to store data within the array & the potential benefits they offer in terms of overall speed of processing & also in adding increased levels of protection for precious data files.

So, here are some facts about the Top 5 RAID arrays:

RAID 0 works using a process called Striping. Files are split & then distributed across all of the drives within the array, making for much faster read & write speeds than would be possible when using one single drive. Although this effectively doubles the storage capacity on each pair, it will also increase the risk of potential loss of this split data if one of those drives should fail.

RAID 1 works by employing Mirroring techniques, which provides greater protection of data by replicating files but this will come at the expense of the overall speed of processing & to the capacity of storage available because the second disc of the pair is effectively a copy of the first. This provides a better outcome if one of the drives fail, but one point worthy of note is the fact that this system will not be immune to the effects of any data corruption events, as the copy will affected along with the original.

RAID 5 is in many ways a combination of the best features from RAID 0 & RAID 1, in a configuration known as Distributed Parity. This will employ a grouping of three drives which work together proving both Striping & Mirroring techniques which utilize two of those drives to split & store data, with the third drive copying the content of the other two & so in the event that one of them fails, the lost data can be determined & reconstructed albeit at a cost to your computer's operating speed. RAID 5 is the firm favorite of business users providing overall better performance & fault tolerance.

RAID 6 can offer optimized protection against drive failures, if that is your main concern, as it operates in a configuration which requires a minimum of four drives working together in a system known as Dual Parity, which in effect means that it can withstand the loss of two drives within the array.

RAID 10 in effect offers redundancy & delivers better read & write performance & is a popular configuration for very high-volume data users.

If you would like any further information or advice ….. Don't be afRAID, Get in touch!

At Computer Being we can advise on RAID Technology hardware or software options that best suit your needs from personal computers to business storage requirements. Furthermore, we can assist in case of lost data from a RAID whether there is a hardware or software failure.

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