How To

How to Choose the Right RAID Configurations

When it comes to RAID, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. From small businesses to big servers, RAID is popularly used to avoid catastrophic data loss situations. From Synology and QNAP to Buffalo and more, several companies are offering RAID devices to suit the needs of businesses of all types and sizes. So, if you’re planning to get RAID, you have plenty of options to choose from. However, choosing the right RAID configuration is not just simply looking at the brand name and going for the top model. Different users have different data storage needs and your choice entirely depends on your preferences. RAID (redundant array of independent disks/inexpensive disks) consists of multiple hard drives to store data. This technology was introduced to prevent data loss in an event of drive failure.

Choosing RAID Configuration

When choosing a RAID configuration, it is important to find out the good and the bad about various RAID levels such as RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, and more. Also, find out the difference between hardware-based and software-based RAID to determine which one will suit you best. Now check out some factors you need to consider when choosing a RAID level for a new array.

Data Protection

Businesses that store critical data need protection against data loss. Whether you’re using QNAP or any other brand’s RAID, you need to choose a configuration that provides maximum data redundancy. Look for levels like RAID 6 or RAID 10 that ensure minimal downtime because the system keeps working even if multiple drives fail. When data protection is your goal, never consider RAID that works on striping such as RAID 0 because couldn’t survive disk failure. However, no matter which RAID level you choose, you can never expect 100% protection from data loss. In the worst cases, even the best QNAP devices fail. Unless you maintain consistent data backups, any data loss would require the services of a QNAP RAID data recovery professional.

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Performance Needs

Some applications need better performance and data protection is not the primary goal. For instance, applications like video editing or gaming need faster speed and high storage capacity. So, if speed and overall performance is what you’re looking for, then RAID 0 may work for you. RAID 0 is a low-cost option for those who only need better performance. However, if you need both performance and data protection, consider RAID 10 which costs higher but provides the best of both worlds.

Capacity Needs

Data protection and performance are crucial factors but capacity is equally important. Besides constant uptime, businesses also need to store a lot of data. So, when comparing the features of different RAID levels, also consider their usable storage capacity.  For instance, as compared to RAID 0 that provides 100% usable storage, RAID 10 offers only 50% usable space because mirroring copies data on half of the space. To easily compare different RAID levels, you may use a RAID calculator. Furthermore, it is also important to consider the rebuild and cost factors into account.


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