Let’s start with what RAID technology is and what it means for your business. RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) is an advanced data storage virtualization technology. What this means is that RAID effectively combines multiple physical disks in a data center to create a virtual storage center that is placed inside a logical unit. You will need an expert to design and set up your RAID structure.
So what is its purpose; why do you need to go through all the trouble? In short, the two main purposes that it fulfills is data redundancy and performance enhancement. This simply means that your precious data is stored at multiple locations thereby providing redundancy, and by locations, it means different disks. This makes your data more secure and less vulnerable to threats like data corruption and data loss.
So what happens if you run out of luck and there is a need to repair your RAID system? There are experts who provide RAID repair services too so that you are covered in that scenario. RAID configurations are of different types and it is critical that when you are choosing a service provider, you go for the one that covers all the levels rather than some company who is new in the business and covers only the basic levels. After all, this is your business we are talking about.
Let’s dive a little deeper and understand the different types of RAIDs and their advantages and disadvantages.
There are five different levels of RAIDs and because it is not standardized by a central authority, you will find that sometimes companies tend to come up with their own numbers:
RAID level 0
At level 0, the data to be stored on the physical disks in RAID is split into different blocks and the data is effectively written across all the drives in the array. More than one disk is used at the same time increasing the overall performance of the system in both reading and writing the data. The storage capacity is used to its maximum level thereby reducing the overheads to zero.
This is the simplest of RAID technologies to understand and implement. There is a minor drawback, however, and that is that RAID 0 is not one hundred percent fault tolerant. What this means is that if any one disk fails, all the data will be lost.
RAID level 1
There are multiple sets of data drive and all the data is written to both the drives. You can say that the data is written on a primary drive and then on a mirror drive. This provides better protection because if one drives fails then the mirror drive can be used because the data is stored twice at different locations. To make this happen, you will need two drives.
The read and write speed of the RAID level 1 is very similar or on par with the RAID level 0 speeds. You do not have to rebuild the data in case of a drive failure because there is a mirror drive. This means that you just have to copy the data from one drive to another. RAID level 1 technology is also very simple to understand and implement but provides better protection when compared with RAID level 0 technologies.
RAID level 5
RAID level 5 is one of the most advanced, more commonly implemented and also the most secure level. In order to implement this system, you will need to work with at least 3 and a maximum of 16 drives. Blocks of data are stripped and stored on different drives while on one drive, a parity of checksum is written. The parity data is itself broken down and stored on all of the 4-16 drives that are in use. So in case of a loss, the parity data is compared and used to recalculate the data that is stored in other blocks. In case of a failure of a particular drive, your data is secure and available.
The read speed of data is comparable but the write speed of data is very slow because of the parity calculations that are to be made. In case of a failure of a drive, a new drive will be installed in place of the old drive and the data from that drive will be rebuilt, but the data will be available to the user for continued usage during that period.
RAID level 6
In RAID level 6, the parity data is written to two drives instead of just one. This means that this level can handle the failure of two drives simultaneously without taking a hit on the data. The chances of two drives failing at exactly the same moment are much less, making this level more secure than the others mentioned so far. Write speed of data is even slower than previous levels while read speeds are comparable.
RAID 10 basically combines the benefits of level 0 and 1 in a single system by creating a hybrid configuration. All the data on the secondary drives is copied or mirrored, and the data is stripped between each set of drives to increase the read/write speeds.