Comparing RAID 0, 1 and 5

Redundant array of independent disks, commonly known as RAID, works by combining two or more mechanical hard drives into a single unit, giving the user increased performance, storage capacity, security, or a combination of the three. How your RAID works depends on the setup and what level you use; RAID 0, 1 and 5 are the most common levels we see.

RAID 0 is one of the most common level of array, and is used for increased speed and performance. RAID 0 takes your data and stripes it across two or more hard drives, meaning you have a storage system that has double the capacity. In addition to this, read/write speeds are faster due to multiple heads working together. So why do most RAID 0 arrays only use two drives? Well, there is a downside to this level – you have an increased chance of losing your data for good; if you use four hard disk drives, you are four times more likely to suffer from data loss. If you lose one drive, your data is lost, and you’ll need to look into professional RAID data recovery services to try and retrieve it.

RAID 1 – commonly referred to as ‘disk mirroring’ – duplicates your data to two or more hard disk drives, and is the perfect choice for users who need a system that provides high levels of performance. While data can be read extremely fast due to all disks being operational, write operations are slower because each operation has to be done for each disk. But because all of the drives in the array mirror each other and contain the exact same data, if one fails, the other keeps working – meaning no lost data or downtime. You do, however, only get the storage capacity of one hard drive, in exchange for redundancy in case one drive fails.

RAID 5 offers what is essentially the best of both worlds, giving the user speed, storage capacity and redundancy. You’ll need at least three drives, however, and one is used to store parity information to rebuild your data in the event of failure. Popular with businesses, we often see systems with seven or eight hard drives in the RAID data recovery lab. So if RAID 5 is so perfect, why do people still need help getting their data back? Unfortunately, even a near-perfectly maintained RAID 5 array can experience data loss. Most commonly, it’s the failure to realise that no RAID system is a substitute for a proper backup.

Our RAID data recovery process varies depending on what type of setup you’ve got, but the principles remain the same. Upon arrival in the lab, we’ll get one of our technicians to undertake a free diagnosis and give you a no-obligation quote, along with a list of files we can recover for you. If you’re happy with the quote, we can begin the recovery straight away.

RAID Data Recovery