A generator is what we opt out of when we need to power up the house when the electricity is gone. Similarly, a physical server environment would require a constant source to maintain its data, either available 24/7 or providing uninterrupted content service even if something has gone wrong! This can be achieved by RAID, that’s why we brought you everything you need to know about RAID!
In today’s post we are going to check out, what is RAID, how it is beneficial? and the types of RAID. Without further due, let’s begin.
What is RAID?
RAID short for redundant array of independent disks, is a data duplication technology that can help maintain 100% uptime in providing data even if there are disruptions over the drives. 2 Professor David Patterson and Randy Katz along with computer scientist Garth Gibson of the University of California, Berkeley invented RAID in 1987. RAID is configured on bare metal (physical) Production servers where important data is stored however as per the RAID technology, it is also recommended for your own PC.
How it is beneficial?
RAID has many benefits, imagine a situation where your server is running an e-commerce platform. Suppose one of the drives got faulty which has the customer data like order details and all other custom changes, then this can cause a bigger problem for the overall platform. Of course, you can restore a backup but restoring a backup can be a time-consuming process. It can also make the system unavailable until the restore event completes. Instead, you can have a system that has 2 copies of the same data attached in 2 disks of 1 slot. This way let’s suppose 1 disk fails, the source can be changed to use the second disk without any delay in service and wouldn’t affect the experience of the end user.
Some of the noted benefits of RAID are as follows. You may check the other benefits here.
- Improve Speed
- Data parity
- Fault tolerance
- Increased availability
Types of RAID
RAID is more than about mirroring and having it distributed. It has certain levels which we are going to discuss below section. If you are looking to purchase a new dedicated server and you are looking to have RAID over it, do check out with the service providers whether they have it to offer.
RAID 0 is a level of RAID that splits the data into multiple containers of disks. This helps in increasing the read-write operation of the system. The goal of RAID 0 is to increase the system’s performance. Ideally, RAID 0 is used to enhance performance and is generally used when the data isn’t important in nature.
RAID 1 is the next level of RAID which promises to save your data in case where any single drive fails. At this level, at least 2 drives are involved and both are exact copies of each other providing a fault tolerance. This is great when any one drive is faulty, the other drive is in charge to provide the content. Nowadays RAID 1 is shipped in most of the physical servers.
This level of RAID is very convenient and focuses on data loss prevention. RAID 5 consists of a minimum of 3 drives where the data is distributed among the other drives. This way if one drive fails, the other drives can contribute the data. This means maximizing the fault tolerance initially than RAID 1. The mechanism has a way of writing the data among the drives so if one goes down the other powers up without any loss of data.
RAID 6 is an extended version of RAID 5 where its capability of fault tolerance is increased. In this level of RAID, data parity is distributed among all other drives in an array. The difference is that it is written in 2 blocks on each drive. Since the data is written 2 times in each drive, the system can tolerate it, even if 2 drives go down at the same time. RAID 5 and 6 are similar in performance but 6 has more fault tolerance than level 5.
There are options to combine RAID levels to achieve desired outputs. Level 10 is an example of a RAID level combination: RAID 1 + RAID 0. This means the functionality of RAID 1 and 0 combined to gain maximum data protection. Works similarly to RAID 1 with more Read and Write operational speed like RAID 0. It’s up to the business needs which RAID level has to be implemented across the system.
RAID is not a backup solution, but rather focuses on how your system can catch up when the disks fail out. There are other alternatives to RAID like ZFS and Btrfs but that depends upon what your requirement is. This concludes with everything you need to know about RAID! Does your bare metal server include RAID and how its helpful to you? do let us know in the comments section below. If you need any help or have any suggestions to make, then do reach us via the contact page here. Happy International Astronomy Day!