RAID Explained

If you haven’t worked in the tech field, you probably haven’t heard of RAID systems. A RAID system is simply a redundant array of inexpensive disks. Boy, that helps. Alright, let’s put that in plain English. A RAID system is simply a way to connect multiple hard drives to provide data redundancy and or data performance increase. This allows us to have more failsafes, or better performance, than simply one drive. So, for instance, this would allow you to continue, or repair, system functioning if one of the drives failed. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Now, I can write pages and pages about RAID systems, but I’m not going to bore you. Let me just give you the bird’s eye view on these things. First, there are software and hardware RAID systems. Software RAID systems are slower. I really like hardware RAID systems. This just means that a piece of hardware handles the RAID arrangement. Now, let me just list the most common RAID formats:

  • RAID 0: Striped Set
  • RAID 1: Mirrored Set
  • RAID 5: Striped Set with Distributed Parity

RAID 0 actually gives you no redundancy. It just puts data across hard drives. This allows for great performance, but no redundancy. It is also called a striped set. RAID 1 creates an exact copy of the drive onto another one, hence the name mirrored set. And RAID 5 uses stripes of disk blocks with error checks. There are pros and cons to each RAID configuration. You should understand that there are many other types of RAID setups. I have just listed some of the more popular ones.