Just How Stable Is Your RAID Array?


If you’re familiar with RAID arrays, you know that they can be more stable and also faster and more efficient than other hard disk drive or server technologies. But each level of RAID array provides different levels of stability for your system.

For instance, RAID 0, often considered not to be a true RAID array since it lacks redundancy, may put your mission critical data at risk. Because RAID 0 arrays use striping to increase efficiency and read/write speeds by spreading data bytes across a number of hard disk drives, if one drive in the RAID array fails, you risk losing all your data and requiring emergency data recovery services.

A RAID 1 array, on the other hand, is extremely stable. If one hard disk drive fails, you can simply copy the data from its mirror drive, avoiding the need for professional RAID data recovery.

RAID levels 3 and above combine the best traits of data striping, mirroring and parity to create a fairly stable RAID array. If one RAID drive fails, you may be able to do a hot swap and copy the data from its mirrored drive. If more than one RAID drive fails, you may need emergency RAID data recovery services.

RAID 5 is considered the most popular RAID level, because it uses a sophisticated controller to achieve high read/write speeds and has the stability of a mirrored array. The more drives you have in your RAID array (always added in pairs) the greater your storage capacity and the lower the risk of losing mission critical data, since data is striped across more drives. RAID 5 is often used in Web servers, databases and file servers because of its low cost relative to its performance and stability.

What level of RAID server do you run? Are you happy with its performance? Do you know what to do if you experience a failed hard drive in your RAID array?

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