RAID Data Storage Explained

Posted on Oct 9 2015 - 11:42pm by Editorial Staff


Data storage can take place in many different shapes, depending on who uses it and for what purpose they are using it for. Whilst individuals will often use their personal hard drives or even cloud storage to store their most important files, businesses have higher needs; often requiring more complex methods of data storage. It is very important for a business to never lose its data, and that data needs to be accessed by different people without getting compromised. In other words, businesses have higher safety and access needs than individuals, and this is why a lot of businesses have to establish a reliable method of storing their electronic data. This is where RAID comes into place.

RAID data storage?

RAID is an acronym for ‘Redundant Array of Independent Disks’. As the name implies, it is a data storage system which is made of multiple hard drives, all acting independently from each other. The idea behind this is as follows: multiple drives are used to store the data by spreading and duplicating it across those different drives. That way multiple copies of the data exists, making that data to be still accessible in the advent of one or the hard drives failing. Basically, RAID makes different backups of the data across those different drives, insuring we can still access duplicates of that data. This provides us with one of the best safety measures for our business data.

RAID: pros and cons.

RAID can be operated on multiple levels (RAID-0 to RAID-6), which will use more or less hard drives. RAID-0 will use less hard drives, whilst RAID-6 will use more. The more hard drives a RAID array uses, the safer the data is as it is spread across more drives. However, using multiple hard drives means that it will cost more to store the data, as the data takes more hard drive space by being multiplied. So with RAID data storage, cost will definitely be something to take into consideration.

Another very important thing to know is that RAID data storage requires a qualified network administrator to put together and look after. In fact, qualified professionals are the only people who should be looking after our business data storage.  This point can also be extended when it comes down to recovering data from a RAID array after a hardware or software issue has risen. Under no circumstances should unqualified staff try to repair a RAID array, as this will most likely lead to losing all the data. Instead, the best is to either use a qualified systems administrator or even better a data recovery company.

Beyond creating backups of our data, RAID also offers accessibility advantages. By spreading the data across different drives, it allows staff to access those different drives rather than everyone trying to access data from the same hard drive; which reduces the load put on any single hard drive and makes data access faster.

To conclude, RAID is a serious data storage method for those whose data is of vital importance. As such, it is to be approached with a lot of consideration. It will cost more and requires qualified staff to look after, but those costs will outweigh the potential damages resulting from data loss.

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Editorial Staff at I2Mag is a team of subject experts.