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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tech Tip of the Day: RAID by the numbers

Description: This guide will walk through the 3 most common types of RAID (Redundant Array of Independent/Inexpensive Disks) and their purpose.


RAID 0 is not a true RAID as there is no redundancy with RAID 0. RAID 0 is typically referred to as a performance RAID as it takes all of your data and stripes it across two drives. The idea behind this RAID is that with two drives actively accessing all of your data it could theoretically be accessed twice as fast. Statistically this is not accurate, though performance is increased.
    • Faster load times/speed increase
    • Uses the capacity of both disks

    • No redundancy - one drive fails all data is lost


RAID 1 is most commonly referred to as a mirrored RAID. RAID 1 takes all of your data and duplicates it exactly between the two drives in a RAID. Should one drive fail within the RAID 1 setup the other drive will take over as the primary drive without any data loss. The failed drive can then be replaced and the RAID array rebuilt in order to re-establish the mirror between the two drives.
    • Data Redundancy
    • One drive fails the other keeps going
    • Requires 2 hard drives of equal capacity only


RAID 5 is somewhat of a combination of RAID 0 and RAID 1. It is a data stripe with a level of redundancy. RAID 5 uses three separate hard drives and stripes data across all 3 drives, but there is a level of redundancy so if one drive fails the other two take over. For this reason the overall capacity of the RAID volume is the sum of two of the three drives.
    • Data Redundancy
    • Increased capacity (two out of three drives in the array)
    • Requires 3 hard drives of equal capacity

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