RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks
It is typically associated with backup, but it is important to mention that it is not a backup solution in itself. People choose to configure their hard drives in RAID as it provides for better reliability and increases performance.
RAID is where you have two or more drives working in parallel with each other. The drives are pooled together to create one big drive.
From a performance perspective, RAID is a popular choice when it comes to fast read/write speeds. Pooling several drives together, there are more available resources to read and write from when data is being accessed by the disk.
Redundancy and availability is another reason why RAID is popular. This is because the RAID controller is capable of recovering lost data from ‘parity’ information. Parity is a process that checks whether any data has been lost or written over when being moved between storage devices.
RAID can be either hardware or software. Hardware RAID can either be a simple driver, or it could be located on a separate controller, whilst software RAID can be found in versions of Windows and Mac such as Windows Server 2012 and MacOS. Hardware RAID can cost more, but you will get superior performance by doing it this way. It is worth the extra money if you have data intensive tasks.
However, whilst RAID offers performance, reliability and redundancy advantages, it doesn’t mean that it is a backup solution in itself. It’s not. It’s simply a technology that gives you the ability to recover lost data without having access to a backup – you still need backup, for example, in case of accidental deletion of data.
This is why having an offsite backup plan is important. It could literally be the only saviour to your project or business.