Which RAID solution do you need?

RAID Solutions

Yes, you need a RAID solution, but it is NOT a disaster recovery solution. First, RAID (redundant array of independent disks) does not substitute as a backup solution. To protect your mission critical data, always employ cold, warm or hot backup disaster recovery solutions.

Examples of what could go wrong with RAID level one

For example, RAID level 1 inherently can’t protect you from accidentally deleting files. Why? Because of the way it’s designed, those files would be instantly removed from both disks, as the disks are mirrored. Again, if one disk becomes corrupted by worms, Trojan horses, root kits, viruses or some other form of malware, this means that both disks become corrupted simultaneously. What about power surges? Those would most likely fry both disks. And then there’s always the possibility that your home will flood or burn to the ground, taking both disks with it.

RAID LEVEL 0 is a Striped Disk Array without Fault Tolerance

Specs and advantages

  • RAID 0 uses a striped disk array where data is broken down into blocks, then each block is written to a separate disk drive
  • Input / Output (I/O) performance is thus improved by spreading the load across multiple channels and disks
  • Ultimate performance happens when the data is striped across multiple controllers with only 1 drive per controller
  • There is no parity overhead
  • Its design is simple and very easy to implement

Why not RAID LEVEL 0

  • It’s not fault-tolerant
  • If one drive fails, this will result in the loss of all data in that array
  • If you live and die in a mission critical environment, RAID 0 is not for you.

What we recommend you use RAID LEVEL 0 for

  • The Production and Editing of Videos and Images
  • High bandwidth Applications

RAID LEVEL 1 utilizes Mirroring and Duplexing

Specs and Advantages

  • One Write or two Reads are possible per mirrored pair
  • It has double the Read transaction rate of single disks and the same Write transaction rate as single disks
  • In case of a disk failure, it’s one hundred percent redundant. Simply copy your data to a replacement disk.
  • Its transfer rate per block equals that of a single disk
  • Under specific circumstances, RAID 1 can withstand multiple simultaneous disk failures

Why not RAID LEVEL 1

  • It has a high disk overhead making the array very inefficient
  • Typically requires a hardware RAID controller versus a software controller
  • May not support hot swaps when used with software controllers.

What we recommend you use RAID LEVEL 1 for

  • Very high availability applications.
  • Accounting departments (payroll and financial apps)

RAID LEVEL 6 makes use of Independent Data Disks with Two Independent Parity Schemes

Specs and Advantages

  • RAID 6 allows for more fault tolerance than RAID 5 by using dual parity
  • Data is striped on a block level across a set of disks, and a second set of parity is calculated and written across all the disks.
  • RAID 6 protects against a single bad block failure while operating in a degraded mode
  • It’s an ideal solution for mission critical applications

Why not RAID LEVEL 6

  • Its controller design is more complex
  • Requires N+2 disks to implement because of dual parity scheme

What we recommend you use RAID LEVEL 6 for

  • File and Application servers
  • Database, Email, Intranet and Web servers
  • It has great fault-tolerance with the lowest overhead


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