Our digital storage is important. We want it to be secure and fast. If it is important enough, we want to back it up too! Separate from manual, or even automatic backups, is using RAID storage. Raid storage, also referred to as arrays, are a Redundant Array of Independent Disks. In this post, we’ll examine the most popular types of RAID arrays and how Kiiff uses RAID to keep data fast and safe.
RAID uses a several nifty computing techniques to be resourceful. The first it uses is called parity. Parity, also used in networking, is used as a redundancy check to data. It is simply a bit, a 1 or a 0, that is appended onto the end of a piece of data for error checking. Mirroring is also used by RAID arrays. Mirroring is fairly self explanatory, it just copies the data from one drive onto another.
The last neat thing RAID uses is called striping. Striping increases performance by storing sequential data in different hard drives. This may sound counter intuitive but performance is increased because sequential data can be processed by different physical devices lightening the load. A RAID 0 array is built with striping. The disadvantage is if one drive fails, the data on all drives is lost.
Raid 1 uses only the data mirroring technology. If there were two drives, one would be an exact copy of the other, like a backup. This will not give the speed advantage of striping or redundancy of parity.
RAID 2 and 3 are not commonly used commercially. RAID 4 is still somewhat common. It uses parity and striping. RAID 4 is used over the 2 and 3 configurations because of its ability to parallel read and write operations to more than one drive. This means increased speeds! You may see a pattern now that as the number goes higher, the array becomes more complicated and usually more advanced.
RAID 6 is just like RAID 4, it has block level striping and parity. One main difference is that it uses double distributed parity, which means fault tolerance of more than one failed drive. This is great for arrays of more than 4 drives, like what you may expect to find in a data center.
The big one. RAID 10 uses striping and mirroring, but not parity. Striping increases the speed while the mirroring makes drive fails less harmful. Additionally, data is striped across all mirrored pairs. As long as one of the mirrored pairs is functioning, no data will be lost. RAID 10 allows for many read and write operations simultaneously and is commonly used where traffic and disk loads are heavy. RAID 10 is Kiiff.com’s array of choice!
RAID storage is great for data safety and performance. We use RAID 10 storage on our servers for the highest quality of redundancy and speed and is one way we stay faster than our competition.