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What is RAID (And is it a good solution for backing up your system?)

What is RAID (And is it a good solution for backing up your system?)


In this era of businesses holding large amounts of customer data, where data and information are business critical and data loss or system failure can be fatal to the long-term survival of a business – many companies are looking for low cost options to back up data and keep data secure. One technology that has been promoted as a way of backing up data to enhance security is RAID. But what is RAID? And is RAID a good solution to backup your network and keep it safe and secure? This article sets out to answer these questions so that you can make an informed decision.

What is RAID?

Initially, the term RAID was characterized as Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, however now it usually alludes to a Redundant Array of Independent Disks. RAID is a combination of hard drives associated and set up in ways to help ensure or accelerate the performance of a computer’s disk storage. This is in dissimilarity with older storage devices that utilized just a solitary disk drive to store information. RAID is generally utilized on servers and high-performance computers.

RAID is an answer that was grown initially for the network server marketplace as a method for making large storage at lower cost. Basically, it would take various lower cost hard drives and set up them together through a controller to give a solitary bigger capacity drive. To accomplish this, specific programming and controllers were expected to deal with the information being divided between the different drives. In the long run, the processing intensity of your standard computer system enabled the features to channel their way into the computer marketplace.

Purpose of using RAID

RAID storage might be software or hardware based, and can be utilized for three discrete purposes. These include

  • Capacity
  • Performance
  • Security

Capacity is a basic one that is regularly associated with almost every sort of RAID arrangement utilized. For example, two hard drives can be connected together as a single drive to the operating framework viably making a virtual drive that is double the capacity. Performance is another key explanation behind utilizing a RAID arrangement on a PC. In a similar case of two drives being utilized as a single drive, the controller can split an information chunk into two sections and after that put each of those sections on a different drive. This viably pairs the performance of writing or reading the information on the storage framework.  RAID can be utilized for information security. This is accomplished by utilizing a portion of the space on the drives to basically clone the information that is written to two drives. Indeed, with two drives we can make it so the information is kept in touch with the two drives. Therefore, if one drive comes up short, the other still has the information.

Understanding Different RAID Levels/Types

Data is dispersed in various ways through the disks as per the RAID levels such as RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 2, etc., each of them augmented for a specific condition. This article explains the following most common RAID levels:

  • RAID 0 – Striping
  • RAID 1– Mirroring
  • RAID 5– Striping with Parity
  • RAID 10– Combining Mirroring and Striping
  • RAID 50 – Block-level Striping and Distributed Parity

RAID 0 Striping

RAID 0 is also alluded to as disk striping. The strategy incorporates separating information uniformly across at least two storage devices. The purpose is to accelerate performance as sorting out information in such a manner permits quicker reading and writing of documents. Disk striping is the best answer for huge applications with gigantic amounts of information.

RAID 0 is the most reasonable kind of redundant disk organization and is very simple to set up. However, such an organization is not fault tolerant or error free and ought not to be utilized for critical information. Since it does not utilize information redundancy, issues on any of the disks could bring about complete information loss.RAID 0


  • Enhanced read and write performance
  • Full capacity utilization, no overhead
  • Easily employed


  • No fault tolerant (no redundancy)

RAID 1 – Mirroring

RAID 1 (disk mirroring) is fault tolerant as it copies information by at the same time writing on two storage devices. In this manner, each disk has a same copy on another disk. This method does exclude parity or striping, which means the information must be as large as the smallest disk.

Having a RAID 1 arrangement provides security against information loss. On the off chance that an issue emerges with one disk, the duplicate gives the information required. It likewise accelerates performance and accessibility as it enables systems to read at the same time from the two disks. Still, writing takes additional time as it just uses the capacity of one disk and needs to work twice. RAID 1



  • Enhanced read speed
  • Fault tolerant
  • Does not demand data rebuilding (if a driver flops, data is just copied to the replacement driver)
  • Easy to utilize


  • Utilizes only partial of the storage capacity
  • More costly (requires twice as many drivers)

Needs shutting down your system to replace failed drive

RAID 5 – Striping with Parity

RAID 5 utilizes disk striping and parity, making the most prevalent choice for arranging independent disks. It requires at least three (3) disks on which information is striped, yet not copied. As security against disk failure, it utilizes parity spread over all drives to remake information if necessary. This makes it exceptionally dependable even in case of information loss.

RAID 5 gives superior and unwavering quality. In addition to the fact that


  • Quick read transactions
  • Steady access to all information
  • Fault tolerant

DisadvantagesRAID 5

  • Utilizes only partial of the storage capacity
  • Needs more time to remake data (one day up to a couple)
  • Parity overhead that reasons decreased performance rates
  • More complex to utilize

it is secure, it works admirably balancing reads and writes.

RAID 10 (RAID 1+0) – Combined Mirroring and Striping

RAID 10 consolidates RAID 0 and RAID 1 with at least four (4) disks . The arrangement of two (2) disks are striped, they are likewise mirrored on two (2) different disks, making a solitary array of disk drives. Such a setup profits by RAID 0’s high-performance and RAID 1’s fault tolerance.

On account of disk failure, RAID 10 gives quick recuperation because of information redundancy. This comes with a cost however. This strategy is increasingly costly and complex to arrangement contrasted with different RAIDs. Moreover, it basically utilizes just half of its storage capacity.RAID 1+0



  • High-performance
  • Fault tolerant
  • Quick remake time


  • Expensive (needs more storage capacity)
  • Restricted scalability

RAID 50 (RAID 5+0) – Block-level Striping and Distributed Parity

RAID Level 50 consolidates RAID 5 and RAID 0. That implies appropriated parity and striping are made in one single RAID array. RAID 50 is a hybrid RAID and, more often, referred to as RAID 5+0.

Arranging RAID 50 requires at least 6 drives. It gives better write performance and security, involving quicker remake time than RAID 5 if there arises an occurrence of a disk failure. Further, this RAID level provides expanded capacity and performance by striping information into various drives.

AdvantagesRAID 50

  • Offers outstanding read performance
  • Enlarged security without the cost overheads as compared to a RAID 10 array
  • Improved data amount and redundancy


  • Failure of two drives in a RAID 5 arrangement renders the entire RAID 50 array as impracticable.
  • A RAID 50 array needs harmonized disks for most extreme throughput, which restricts disk choices.


RAID cannot be used as a replacement for back-up!

Despite the fact that RAID levels give information redundancy. It is not a suitable decision to be utilized as a backup of your critical information. That is on the grounds that while most RAID setups ensure you against hardware failure, they do not secure you against information defilement or malignant activity. To keep away from information loss, verify to create a backup of your critical information on a different hard drive.

Book your free on-site audit for your business so you can get a health check on your backup resilience and identify any weakness and potential risks as well as give some insight to potential improvements needed to stay secure and reach your future business goals.

Make sure you take action before it’s too late…

avoid a potentially catastrophic backup failure…

and sleep peacefully at night knowing that you are taking all the steps you need to take to ensure that your invoicing, the data you hold on or for your most valued customers and other mission-critical business records is backed up safely and securely…