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RAID Basics

            RAID storage systems are becoming popular in server installations. What is the benefit of RAID, and how does it work?.
             RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. There is two main implementations of RAID; software and hardware RAID. In my experience I have found that most Information Technology professionals steer well away from software RAID, in fact that hate it with a passion. This is mainly because of the CPU and other system overheads and the stability of software. The fact that hardware RAID controllers and onboard RAID controllers are becoming very inexpensive there is decreasing reasons why anyone would use software RAID, like that implemented in Microsoft Windows 2000pro/XPpro. This said there is also many advantages to software RAID, but in my, and others opinions these are not worth the losses.
             RAID attempts to address many issues within the computer system storage sector. The first of these is mass storage. Raid can daisy chain many disks together and appear to the user and O/S (operating system) as a single disk and single or multiple partitions. One off the major bottlenecks in computer systems today is fast storage devices. Hard disk drives are mechanical devices, unlike storage such as RAM and Flash ROM, which makes them very slow. Currently, mass electronic data storage is extremely expensive and only used for high expense critical applications, and even these are not what I would class as mass storage. RAID has the ability to speed up single disk solutions by spreading the load over multiple disks. Basically while one disk is getting its read/write heads into position another disk can be doing some "work" and so forth. Theoretically, the more disks in the array the more performance gains (within reason)!.
             The other issue RAID addresses is data security/redundancy. RAID offers dada redundancy via mirroring or parity.
             The first type of RAID is RAID level 0.

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