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MTE Explains:What is RAID?

If you are considering building a computer or workstation, you may hear a lot of strange and unfamiliar terms that may just not make sense. RAID is probably one of them.

RAID stands for "Redundant Array of Independent Disks", and it is a technology used with multiple hard drives for performance reasons, such as retaining backups (redundancy) or increasing storage space.

RAID isn't often used outside of servers, but some enthusiast desktop builders like to have a RAID array anyway because of the capabilities that RAID introduces.

So what is RAID really?

RAID is the technique of using two or more hard drives to increase storage space, performance, or redundancy within a computer. Different RAID levels do these things with different techniques.

Of course, RAID is not the pinnacle of storage. Some RAID configurations, especially those focused on performance or storage space, will cause you to lose all your data if one disk in the array fails. Even if you're using a RAID implementation that maintains data and disk parity, you still need to be prepared for an infection or disk failure with secure external backups for all your important files. RAID does not replace backing up your files.

MTE Explains:What is RAID?

If you're wondering which of the two is the better option, it depends. Hardware RAID is more expensive, requiring additional specialized hardware and a more complicated setup process. It is, however, more reliable than software RAID and will not use any of your computer's processing power.

Software RAID is done through your operating system and processor, so it has its own overhead. On most modern machines this shouldn't be a problem, but on older desktops and servers it could be a problem. In terms of price and performance, software is by far the best option, but if you need a little more reliability, hardware may be better suited to your needs.

Soon we will cover software RAID tutorials for Windows and Linux. Stay tuned!

Image credit:The New RAID, Configuring the RAID-1 Array