Understanding RAID - When and How to Use It

Understanding RAID - When and How to Use It

RGG EDU recently released a five-part video series on their YouTube Channel dedicated to RAID. RAID, for those of you new to the term, refers to a system of file storage that can write a copy of everything you save to a separate hard drive so that you have two copies of everything you save. The benefit here is that if your hard drive fails, you don't lose all of your data and you have an identical copy ready to roll. In this video series, Gary Martin of RGG explains everything you need to know about RAID systems to get started on your first RAID setup.

The five-part series takes you through every topic you need to know. In this first video Martin discusses what RAID actually means, the basics of what it actually does, and how it is best applied for photographers and videographers alike. I recently came to understand the importance of hardware RAID versus software RAID which is also explained in this video.

In the next few videos Martin continues to explain the different types of RAID setups, namely RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 5. The video above is the second installment in the series and is specific to the RAID 0 setup. RAID 0 is all about speed and performance. It does not supply to backup support commonly associated with RAID, but instead take advantage of the multi-drive setup for increased read and write speeds.

If you are interested in the remaining three videos in the series head over to the RGG YouTube Channel.

The series continues with videos on RAID 1, RAID 5, and comparison of mobile drives to RAID drives.

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15 Comments

Great videos. Typically, when talking about RAID, the conversation either gets super technical and folks just looking for advice on what's best end up tuning out or it's very high level and misses the important details and distinctions between all the various RAID versions. This does a nice job of walking that line and letting people know what would work best for their situation while also explaining the advantages and pitfalls of each.

Gary Winchester Martin's picture

Thanks!

Agreed, very well explained. Random side note, can I ask where you got your intro/outro music? I loved them.

Gary Winchester Martin's picture

We make all of the music. All in-house

Nice work.

Tyler Newcomb's picture

What are some low cost backup/harddrive/storage options you recommend?

Gary Winchester Martin's picture

You can spend as low as you want on a drive from any provider like WD, but you jus need to follow the best practice of 2 hard copies and one in the cloud.

Tyler Newcomb's picture

So would something like a "My Passport", saving on a network on my downstairs family computer, and storing in drive work?

Adam T's picture

I prefer raid 0 for speed then hook up a raid 10 to the raid 0 for backup.

Jon Wolding's picture

Two RAID 1 externals or a stack of drives in RAID 10 is the best. Now that SSDs are so cheap, I don't even bother with RAID 0 anymore. Always try to use Enterprise level HDDs or HDDs with a great track record (Hitachi top the list).

Adam T's picture

I tried running cache for ssd's but I found the write speed to slow.

Jon Wolding's picture

I don't know what you're running, but affordable SSDs from the last few years are reading/writing at ~500MB/s... easily faster than any RAID 0 setup.

Paulo Macedo's picture

Understanding RAID - When and How to Use It

1st - Is it a mosquito?
2nd - Is it Aedes Aegipty?
3rd - Do you live in a Dengue or Zica region?
4th - If all above are true, apply within 20cm from the bug.
5th - Spray the whole room, close the doors and windows and leave for 20 minutes.
6th - Open the windows and doors to remove the residual toxins from the air.
7th - Go back to sleep.

There you go, now you know how to use Raid.

I had 2 3tb Seagate drives go bad at the same time in a 4 drive raid 5. Netgear Readynas NV2+.

Most of the information was backed up to another raid so I didn't send them in for recovery. The drives weren't chattering or anything. But they must have had a lot of bad sectors and the Readynas could no longer read them. I took all for drives out, and saved them, this was last July. A customer called looking for Children photos from 2013 that she had never ordered from, they were on the Raid that crashed. Went to my back up for children's folder 2013, the whole folder was gone from backup. So the process to try and recover my raid begins. It is striped so no one file is complete on any drive, never was able to clone either bad drive but was able to mirror one. Still didn't work in the raid. Tried a reconditioning program (HDD regenerate) didn't work. After connecting 3 of the drives internally to a computer I tried a NAS recovery software, Disk Internals Raid Recovery, it didn't automatically recognize the type of raid, so the recovered files were all partial files. And was taking for ever to scan. Next I found Home Nas Recovery, it ran a scan in 15 min it said yes we can recover your files please buy our software. I didn't want to. So I sent them an email saying I wanted to see for sure that I had complete files before buying. They sent me a code to use.
In 10 mins it found all 200,000 plus files. It had put the raid together exactly how it was. Everything was in the original hierarchy WOW. Sorry for the long post but it just blew me away.

On another note I had a CF card 32 gig that was given me about 4 years ago because they couldn't access the files on it. When ever it was plugged in you were told to format it. All the recover software would just see a few mb of info. Tried EASEUS DATA RECOVERY WIZARD it worked, so the whole card and recovered all the files and folders.