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RAID Arrays – What you need to know

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Hardware v.s Software Raid Arrays

What is it and what you need to know.

RAID Arrays (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) is a set number of disks that act together in a group to offer fault-tolerant storage for files and data. There are different levels of RAID that offer different options to users to allow for redundancy, speed and data protection from a single hard drive failure. You can learn about the different benefits and pitfalls of different raid levels here. LINK

However, there is a difference between using Software Based Raid vs Hardware Raid. Below we will try and discuss some of the pros and cons of each raid type.

Hardware Raid Arrays

Pros: Cons:
  • Independent of CPU and server load
  • Menu Driven Setup Wizard
  • Simple Drive Replacement
  • Usually Expensive
  • Proprietary Hardware and Firmware
  • Must be replaced with exact same card/controller

Software Raid Arrays

Pros: Cons:
  • Inexpensive to use
  • RAID is independent of hardware (Swap an array from one machine to another if failure happens)
  • Robust and in some cases self-healing
  • Harder to set up and configure
  • Relies on Core Server hardware (CPU, RAM, ETC)
  • Harder to maintain and change failed disks

As you can see there are benefits and pitfalls for each type of raid array and the choice will be heavily independent on your specific use case. Personally, we prefer to build and use Software RAID Systems due to the fact that we will not have to depend on a piece of hardware that may fail in the future and may not be available or discontinued, thus leaving our data useless.

If you would like to discuss your RAID Array needs or to spec out one of our custom-built systems, please call us at 631-403-1104 or contact us HERE




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