Putting together two or even greater number of drives in a RAID setup can intensify the performance and proffer automatic protection against the loss of data from failure of drive. RAID arrays are hard for implementation, expensive and confined to business comprising of highly dedicated IT departments. At the present time, motherboards in many desktop PCs provide support to RAID and Windows 7 provides RAID which requires no hardware. Any sensibly tech-sharp PC client can manage the cost of this innovation.
What kind of RAID do you want?
RAIDs are available in many levels and flavors which provide better performance, data protection or both of these things. Apart from seven core levels, you will come across many combinations and variants. Some of the controllers can abstract and layer RAID levels, thereby letting you match and mix various capacity drives and add capacity with not extra configurations.
Some of the RAID levels
It lets you extend a volume onto other disks. Data is written to the first disk till it is completely full, then consecutively to the second, third etc. It provides no boost in redundancy or performance and is a holdover from the days when smaller disk required to be chained for handling large amounts of data.
This system intensifies the performance of hard-drive by striping or splitting data all over two drives. By pulling two data busses, data becomes legible and so can be written more quickly. Unluckily, it provides no data protection. It simply augments the chances of data loss as the failure of either drive in the array results in the loss of the data, which remains stored on both drives. It is standard on graphic design workstations and high-end gaming PCs and provides a measurable though unobtrusive execution support for hard-circle concentrated projects.
This system provides protection to the data from drive failure by writing the same data to two hard drives at the same time. As each and every drive is a duplicate of the other, you can carry on working if one proves failure. It provides no gain in performance and reduces available capacity by half effectively. 2TB drives proffer only 2TB of storage.
Although you get data protection and disk performance both from this setup, it does require at least three hard drives. Instead of making use of a whole hard drive as a backup, it spreads redundancy information, known as parity bits all over the drives of array. Where RAID 1 needs 50% of available storage for redundancy, RAID 5 needs only 33%. When one drive in a RAID 5 array proves failure, the content of data which failed drive is reconstructed by making use of the parity bits on the present drives and written to a new drive.
RAID 1+0, 0+1, 10
Some of the adapters combine RAID 0 and RAID 1 to proffer both increased disk performance and data redundancy. This system works by striping data all over the pair of drives and then mirroring (0+1) with another pair or striping data all over two mirrored pairs (1+0, aka 10). RAID 0+1, 1+0, and 10 require at least four hard drives.