Getting your computer RAIDed

More computer are being sold with a type of hard drive storage called RAID; so I thought I would talk a little about what RAID is, and what it does.

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive, depending on who you ask) Disks. It is a way of improving performance, improving stability or safeguarding data.

RAID comes in several different types: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and several others.

The most common (for consumers) types of RAID are 0 and 1.
RAID 0(zero) is two hard drives hooked together to make one larger hard drive. This is called “striped without parity,” and provides both larger capacity and faster performance than single hard drives.
The downside to RAID 0 is that if one drive fails or is corrupted, then the data on that drive is lost.
When I say “parity” I mean the ability to detect errors in the stored data. Also called “error correction.”

RAID 1 is “mirrored;” two or more hard drives are connected together so that each one is an exact duplicate of the other. Thus if one drive fails or is corrputed, then the data on the other drive remains safe. RAID 1 is “mirrored without parity”.

So know you know if a salesman says RAID 0, you know it means data spread across two hard drives and RAID 1 means data duplicated across two (or more) hard drives.