Consumer & Enterprise RAID Configurations

RAID

This stands for “Redundant array of independent disks.” In order to use this feature, you must have at least two drives in your PC. The most common types of RAID are RAID 1 & 2. Users can set this up in the UEFI on their motherboard.

Normal Consumer

RAID 0

RAID 0

This isn’t really redundant. It is mainly striping meaning that the data is spread out and placed onto the two drives. This effectively combines the total storage together and gives better read and write speeds. However, this better performance comes at a cost. If one of the drives ever fail, the data will be completely gone due to the fact that the data is spread out. The data is useless if you have half of the data of every single file. Take this as an example, you are given a book and it has been cut down the middle from the top. When you try to read it, there is little to no understanding and thus it is useless.

RAID 1

RAID 1

This is mirroring which is a very safe way for your data. This requires a minimum of two internal drives. Each time your hard drive write or records something new, the data is also written a second time but on the other drive so you have two copies. Although you have an advantage in safety, you sacrifice storage at the same time. Imagine you are using two 1 terabyte hard drives. You think that you have 2 TBs of storage however since you are writing everything twice, you only get 1TB. Even if one drive dies, you can put in another drive to patch up the setup so your data is extremely safe.

RAID 10

RAID 10 or 1+0

RAID 10 as its name says is both RAID 1 & 0 at the same times. In order to use this, you must have a minimum of 4 drives. It has two drives that is stripped and they are both copied over to two other drives giving you better speed and redundancy at the same time.

Enterprise/Business Grade Servers

RAID 5

RAID 5

This type is the most common in business servers. You will need a minimum of 3 drives. It uses one drive’s storage and spread it across the other drives. What this does is that it gives the all drives the ability the patch up the array. Even if one drive is dead, you can shove in a new one and the array is fixed. However, we need a dedicated RAID card to do the calculation to patch up that small missing spot of data. Although you do not have to fix up the array, you should still get the card so that read speeds do not drop. Imagine that your company has 20 drives in RAID 5 for a server with no RAID card, saving your Word document could take 20-30 seconds even though it usually takes 5 seconds or less.

RAID 6

RAID 6

This is nearly the same as RAID 5 however, this allows up to 2 drives to die giving you more assurance. This configuration has its own kind of problems. Even with a dedicated card, writing speeds are still going to plummet.

 

Now, you should know which one is best for you. These configurations are useless if you don’t know which internal hard drives to get. Click here to learn about hard drives.

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