Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Do you need RAID?

Image from Fujitsu

Some of you may have heard of RAID and some of you may already be using RAID. But what is RAID and do you need it since it's so popular these days?

In essence, RAID tech is using more than 1 storage drive for either speeding up the performance, or security as a backup device to mirror the contents of the drive. Hence there's RAID 0 for stripe, where 2 drives are used to form a single storage volume, and RAID 1, or mirror, where 2 drives are used to form copies of each other. These are the 2 most common form of RAID, which other advanced versions like RAID 1+0 (or RAID 10) where it's a combination of speed and security. But is RAID always a good idea?

As much as it may sound like a superb solution, you need to remember because RAID works with more than 1 drive, if anything were to happen to the computer which the RAID is running on, you can't just take out the drive and connect it to another computer and save the data.

Remember, it's now a volume which needs 2 drives to work. You can't just plug both drives into another computer and expect it to work flawlessly as well. RAID is designed when the computer that it runs on is almost flawless. Like servers. Hence why RAID started off in servers and workstations. Now however, it has entered desktop and even notebook computers!

However, this is more of a feature to sell than actually being of any real benefit. It's better for you to invest in a faster drive, like if you can afford Western Digital's Raptor series of 10,000RPM drives, and a second backup drive - either internal or external - for security.

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