What is a RAID?
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What is a RAID?

What is a RAID? What is a RAID array? What is its purpose and why the need for a RAID backup solution? These terms and questions are commonly encountered while looking for back up or hard disk recovery solutions. Find out what these terms mean and how understanding of the RAID set-up will help you recover your files when your computer fails for some reason.

Nowadays there are many ways of backing up your computer data to avoid the frustrations associated with hard disk drive failure. These may be through online backup systems or having your own backup system that requires no internet connection. Application of the former system may be cumbersome if you have no internet access but need to work on your files right on. That leaves the latter system as your only choice on those occasions. One offline backup solution is the RAID approach.

But what is a RAID and how is it set-up? How can it be used to offset hard disk drive failure? These questions are answered below.

What is a RAID?

RAID is actually acronym for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. The RAID backup or disk recovery system is founded on the assumption that the hard disk drive failure will not occur at the same time.

How about the word redundant in the acronym? Redundant simply means duplication of data written in one hard disk to the backup hard disk or hard disks. So whenever you encode data in your computer these data get written not only one hard disk but also to another hard disk.

What is a RAID array?

Originally, RAID array back-up or hard disk drive recovery system employs several cheap hard disks connected together so that if there is hard disk drive failure the other hard disk drive or several disk drives can take over the role of the failed hard disk. This arrangement of two or more hard disks is called a RAID array. Actually, the two words RAID and array are redundant because RAID already incorporates the word array in the acronym. So it is better referred to as simply a RAID system.

It will be quite expensive to have several hard disks joined together to function as one hard drive so inexpensive hard drives constitute the RAID array. But having the term "inexpensive" hard drives in an array connote poor quality so the acronym RAID was later changed to Redundant Array of Independent Disks probably for marketing reasons. Besides, if you can afford it, it is better to have an array of quality hard disk drives instead of cheap ones that will most likely fail. Hard disk drive failure can happen anytime.

Why the need for a RAID backup solution?

Having a RAID is advantageous especially to those who need to ensure that their data is kept safe from random hard disk drive failure. Of primary consideration among users is the lower costs entailed in having such backup system.

Instead of buying an expensive hard disk drive with a large capacity, an interconnected array of cheap hard drives can do the data backup. One failed hard disk drive can easily be replaced by an interconnected redundant hard disk drive.

With more hard disk drives working together, it is also possible to increase computer speed or performance. Thus, gaming applications will work well in this system.

© 2012 September 15 Patrick A. Regoniel

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