Help Me Choose: RAID

 
RAID or redundant array of independent disks is a storage technology that uses two or more disks to achieve greater levels of performance or data protection through redundancy. There are several different types of RAID configurations available on select Dell systems. You may choose to have your Dell PC configured in RAID 0, 1 or 5.

RAID can deliver:
  • Performance — RAID 0: Referred to as "striping," writes data across all the disks in the RAID array, improving performance. The accessible capacity is equal to the total of the capacities of all disks in the array. However, if one disk fails in a RAID 0 configuration, data on all disks will be lost.

  • Protection — RAID 1: Referred to as "mirrored," writes identical data to two separate drives. This is a backup type solution. Data is not lost in the event that one drive malfunctions. The accessible capacity is equal to the capacity of the smallest drive.

  • Performance and protection — RAID 5: Referred to as "striping with parity," is similar to RAID 0 in the sense that it has enhanced performance by writing data sequentially across three drives. However, it also writes parity data across the array for data redundancy. If one drive in the array is lost, your data will still be safe. Once the failed drive is replaced, the RAID array can be rebuilt with no data loss. The accessible capacity is equal to the total capacity minus one drive.

  • Increased performance and protection — RAID 10: Sometimes referred to as a "mirror set nested within a striped set" or RAID1+ 0. This setup requires four drives and the array can sustain multiple drive losses so long as no mirror loses all its drives. RAID 10 provides fault tolerance and improves performance but increases complexity.