RAID configured External Hard Drives
Today’s topic is large capacity external hard drives including network attached storage (NAS) units. These type of units have become increasingly popular because of their large capacity. They range from 500 GB to 4 TB and are manufactured by many companies including Lacie,Buffalo Technology, and Maxtor.
Something to remember is that these units have multiple disk drives inside that are configured using RAID technology. This is what enables them to offer such high capacities. Most of them offer users a choice when configuring the unit for the first time. RAID 0 offers high performance, but is very risky. RAID 0 stripes data across all of the disk drives, and if one drive fails the data can be lost forever. ReWave gets tons of these units in every week where the user has lost their data due to NAS failure. In most cases, these units come preconfigured as RAID 0. It is important to consider using a different RAID level unless you are certain you can perform regular backups. Most of the time, one of the disk drives fail and it becomes necessary to repair the drive in the clean room before the data can be recovered.
If you purchase one of these units, you may want to seriously consider changing the RAID level during configuration (don’t try to change it after you have been using it for a while unless you backup first!) Depending on your particular unit, your choices probably include RAID 1 (mirroring), RAID 5 (striping with parity), or JBOD (just a bunch of disks). RAID 1 essentially cuts your disk space in half but provides full security by mirroring your data. Although not as safe as RAID 1, RAID 5 can sustain the failure of one disk and allows you to use most of the capacity of the unit.
The bottom line is- if you must use RAID 0, please remember to perform regular backups!!!
Now for the joke of the day:
There are 2 cowboys in the kitchen. Which one is the real cowboy? The one on the range.