RAID configurations

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About RAID Configurations


NOTICE: In order to use the migrating option to convert a RAID configuration without losing data, your HD must initially be set up as a single drive RAID 0 array before the operating system is loaded onto the drive.

This PDF provides the overview of of the RAID configuration you may have selected when you purchased your PC. There are several RAID configurations available in the computer industry for different types of uses. Most PCs support RAID level 0, RAID level 1, RAID level 5 or RAID level 0+1. A RAID level 0 configuration is recommended for high performance programs, while RAID level 1 is recommended for users that desire a high level of data integrity.

NOTE: RAID levels do not represent a hierarchy. A RAID level 1 is not inherently better or worse than a RAID level 0 configuration.

The drives in a RAID configuration should be the same size in order to ensure that the larger drive does not contain unallocated (and therefore unusable) space. RAID level 0 and RAID level 1 require a minimum of two drives. RAID level 5 requires a minimum of three drives and RAID level 0+1 requires a minimum of four drives.

RAID Level 0 configuration

NOTICE: Because a RAID level 0 configuration provides no data redundancy, a failure of one of these drives results in the loss of all data. To protect your data when using a RAID level 0 configuration, perform regular backups. RAID level 0 uses a storage technique known as data striping to provide a high data access rate. Data striping is a method of writing consecutive segments or stripes across the physical drive(s) to create a large virtual drive. Data striping allows one of the drives to read data while the other drive is searching for and reading the next block. Another advantage of a RAID 0 configuration is that it utilises the full storage capacities of the drives. For example, two 120-GB HDs combine to provide 240-GB of HD space on which to store data.

RAID Level 1 configuration

RAID level 1 uses a data-redundancy storage technique known as mirroring to enhance data integrity. When data is written to the primary drive, the data is also duplicated, or mirrored, on the second drive in the configuration. A RAID level 1 configuration sacrifices high data-access rated for its data redundancy advantages.

If a drive fail occurs, subsequent read and write operations are directed to the surviving drive. A replacement drive can then be rebuilt using the data from the surviving drive.

RAID Level 0+1 configuration

A RAID level 0+1 array combines a high data access rate of a RAID level 0 array and the data protection of a RAID level 1 mirror by striping data across two drives and mirroring that striped data on a second set of two drives. If drive failure occurs subsequent read and write operations are directed to the other surviving drives. A replacement drive can then be rebuilt using the data from the other surviving drives.