I’m a fan of making things easy to understand. We humans seem to enjoy over-complicating nearly everything we touch. RAID storage, is no exception. I’ve seen RAID-0, RAID-5, and so on. It’s a neat acronym, but unfortunately it doesn’t often come with a definition.
This is going to be a very simplistic look into what RAID storage is. There’ll be some technical terms, but I’ll try my best to make sense of it all.
RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. Wikipedia defines RAID as, “A data storage virtualization technology that combines multiple physical disk drive components into a single logical unit for the purposes of data redundancy, performance improvement, or both.” Now that you’ve stomached that mouthful, here’s what it means to us normal folk. Essentially, RAID storage is a way to ensure that our data will be safe from corruption, loss, or damage.
Think of your laptop for a minute. A normal laptop will have the essentials: RAM, SSD or HDD, CPU, etc. Now, where does RAID fall into this picture? A RAID storage system would be somewhere in the SSD, or HDD area of your computer. Often times, as is my understanding, it is an external device. One that may look like the following picture:
Courtesy of Amazon.com
Inside of this device are two Hard Drives. The “Redundancy” comes in to effect when you back something up to these hard drives. A copy of the data (image, video, text file, etc.) will be stored on both hard drives. The benefit is that if one of the drives fails, you’ll still be able to recover the data without a problem from the other hard drive.
This is beneficial to anyone who works with sensitive data, proprietary data, or even things such as family photos. Many people do not trust cloud hosting services with their data, and a RAID storage system can be useful for both backup, and recoverability.
Now, this may be a bit overkill if you’re just storing data from a personal computer. But, if you’re one who likes to have insurances in place for when technology doesn’t work (and it does fail, often) then this may be a good option for you.
The negatives of RAID storage, especially if you own a physical device that attaches to your computer, is that it’s not safe from physical damage, or theft. If your house burns down, chances are your RAID storage will go with it.