Protect Your Data in a RAID System

RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) has redefined how businesses store data. A combination of two or more hard disk drives, the RAID controller distributes the data cross them depending on the configuration. So what does this mean for capacity, speed, and the ability to undertake data recovery?

Each RAID configuration will have its own mechanisms built in to protect your data, but no technology is perfect, and there are measures you should take. When storing data on a RAID, it is vital to prepare yourself for the possibility of data loss. The first solution is an absolute must-have – a backup. A solid, properly-stored and up-to-date backup is always the best and easiest way to get your data back onto a rebuilt system. Many businesses mistakenly think that a RAID solution means backups aren’t needed, which is very dangerous thinking. While certain RAID levels have safeguards built in to stop data loss, and are safer than a standard, single hard disk drive, this is a risky strategy. RAID data recovery can be incredibly time-consuming and costly, so it's something you want to avoid. 

You should take the time to work out which RAID configuration is the right one for your business needs. RAID 0 combines two or more drives into a bigger and faster storage unit by splitting data evenly across all the drives in the array. But, while you may benefit from added speed, if one drive fails, you lose everything. Hard drives don’t last forever and it’s inevitable that one of the drives in your RAID will fail, and if it does, your data is gone. To protect your data, the best configurations are RAID 1 or higher, where data can be rebuilt in the event of a failure in a single drive. This doesn’t protect you against all of the drives failing, which is why an offsite backup is vital.

If you have purchased a RAID built by one manufacturer, the chances are that more than one drive will fail at the same time, since they will all likely be from the same batch. This makes it absolutely necessary to check the status of the drives in your RAID regularly if you want to avoid costly data recovery. If you have a RAID 5 system and one of the drives fails, don’t hesitate to replace it immediately. 

Data Recovery