RAID is a tech-related acronym that stands for Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Disks. Although this storage technology has gotten less expensive over the years of its development, a declaration of inexpensive remains subjective. So, most settle on the inclusion of Independent in the name. As noted, array is already represented by this acronym. Many people exhibit a different form of redundancy when erroneously saying, “RAID array.” Redundancy, however, is a critical aspect of RAID that offers a unique protection against data loss.
The Benefits of Redundancy
RAID storage technology benefits from the combination of multiple drives into a single, higher-capacity drive that often has a faster and greater volume. Since more than one component offers the same function, the disks can continue working even if part of the system fails. Fault tolerance is the ability for a device to continue to function despite one or multiple disk failures.
These two characteristics of RAID offer benefits for a small business or users particularly reliant on their data. Threats of data loss to malware, breaches, or natural disasters are negated when a RAID drive can preserve data despite partial failure. RAID is also relevant for users who want to stream their data across storage devices across different networks, or network attached storage (NAS).
What are RAID Levels?
RAID discs can be hard discs or solid state drives (SSD). There are also different RAID levels. These levels are not standardized by the industry. Some companies make up their own numbers and implementation of RAID levels, but each level is optimized for use with specific situations.
Selecting among these RAID classes depends upon the user’s unique needs and requirements for storage. Performance and the need for redundancy are some variables to consider. Because the requirements of storage capacity and performance may change, there are also options to convert RAID levels.
Redundancy Isn’t a Substitute for Backup
Learning the basics of RAID technology, including the value of redundancy, can feel intimidating. Even a basic understanding, however, can help users match their unique needs to the best technology for the job. RAID offers some protection from single drive failure but this protection should not be confused as a substitute for a backup plan. It’s always possible that all drives could fail simultaneously. Even more commonly, user error could result in the accidental deletion of data.
Secure Data Recovery Services specializes in RAID recovery. If you have questions about RAID redundancy, levels or protection, submit an online help request to get started.