Western Digital does a great job at explaining RAID Storage, why you need it and more! Check out everything they have to say.
RAID – or Redundant Array of Independent Disks – is a type of storage that writes data across multiple drives within the same system. Different configurations are expressed as numbers, such as RAID 0, RAID 1, or RAID 5. Each RAID type gives users different benefits — increased performance, greater fault tolerance, or a combination of both — depending on how it writes and distributes your data.
RAID storage features:
- Get the performance and protection you need for data-intensive creative workflows.
- RAID solutions can be configured for the most rigorous uses, such as time-sensitive, data-sensitive post-production workflows.
- Cloud-ready RAID storage can be ideal for both business and home users that want to access their data from anywhere.
- RAID can deliver high data protection and redundancy whenever uptime and availability are critical needs.
Who needs RAID?
You may want to try one or more RAID configurations if you need to:
- Maintain maximum uptime and availability on your system
- Work with large files without slowing down operations
- Have data redundancy to protect important information
- Increase the potential mean time to failure of your system
RAID Storage vs. Data Backup
While RAID can make your data storage more powerful and resilient, it’s not the same thing as data backup. RAID arrays spread I/O operations across multiple disks in order to read and write data faster, or to mirror data on one drive across other drives, which allows the whole system to continue operating without data loss if one of those drives fails.
On the other hand, data backup helps you restore lost files. So, while data backup solutions are meant to get you back on your feet in the event of total data loss, RAID is designed to help avoid that kind of loss in the first place. Similarly, while RAID makes your overall storage system more resilient, it still only counts as one copy of your data.
Understanding RAID Configurations
Learn more about the most popular RAID configurations to help you understand your needs, as well as narrow down your requirements for performance, data protection, and capacity.
RAID 0: High Performance
RAID 0 offers the fastest read/write speeds and maximum availability of raw storage capacity. Although RAID is typically associated with data redundancy, RAID 0 does not provide any. However, it does provide the best performance of any RAID level.
It achieves this by breaking up data into smaller groups and storing it on separate disks. For example, in a two-disk array, the data is split evenly across the two disks, doubling your speed. In a four-disk array, you can quadruple your speed, and so on.
RAID 1: Solid Data Protection
RAID 1 is an excellent option when data protection and redundancy is your primary goal. This RAID type stores your data on one disk and then keeps a separate copy of that data on each of the available remaining disks.
This means that if one disk goes down, you still have your data ready to go. This approach gives you the usable storage capacity and write speeds of one disk but offers strong data protection.
RAID 5: Balanced Data Protection and Speed
Requiring a RAID system of three or more drives, RAID 5 offers the best of both worlds, balancing performance and redundancy.
It does this by splitting data into groups across all available drives and creating distributed parity, where data calculations are stored across the drives so that any one drive may fail, and the data — or parity — on the other drives can reconstitute what was lost on the failed drive.
This is a faster setup than a RAID 1but allows for single-disk fault tolerance (no matter how many are in the array) unlike RAID 0, providing both speed and data protection.
RAID 10: High Reliability and Performance
RAID 10 nests at least two RAID 1 sets within a RAID 0 configuration. This blends performance with potentially higher fault tolerance. Mirroring lends additional redundancy, which means that you can retain your data even if you lose up to half your disks — provided your mirrored copy does not fail.
This is why businesses and other professional teams use RAID 10 where uptime and availability are critical for intense workflows.
JBOD & JBOF: Flexible
Customizability and Expansion
JBOD and JBOF, or Just a Bunch of Disks and Just a Bunch of Flash, respectively, open up additional paths to flexibility with a RAID storage device.
While arrays using numbered RAID types generally require reformatting to add new drives, JBOD and JBOF allow users to expand or swap drives without reformatting.
JBOD can do this because each disk acts independently, and each disk is seen as its own volume. This also means the risk of data loss is contained to one drive rather than the entire array.
With Spanning, data is only kept within each disk, but the system make all disks appear as one larger "logical" volume — almost like they're one big drive. Spanning is more flexible than RAID and simpler to use than JBOD, but it can be more complex than JBOD if you want to move drives.
Features products include the G-RAID Shuttle 8 and more.
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