Many features contribute to the popularity of RAID technology among business owners. For example, it’s affordable, enhances performance, and enables businesses to improve their data integrity. Also, users can combine physical drives into logical units and present them as single hard drives to their machine operating systems. Consequently, they store the same information in various locations and on numerous disks, thus improving their operational capacity and data security.
Let’s look at this technology in depth to learn more about its relation to ESXi backup solutions. We will define it and show you the three main ways of implementing it. With this information, you will be better placed to choose the right implementation method suitable for your needs.
What Is RAID?
RAID stands for redundant array of inexpensive disks. This tool virtualizes data storage by combining several physical hard drives into logical units. Primarily, it seeks to make data redundant and improves implementation. Its predecessor comprised large and costly disks.
Three Main Implementation Methods
So, how can you implement RAID in your business, and what options are available for it? Here are some ways to maximize its value for your enterprise’s system.
First, you can implement RAID with the help of software. This method requires you to configure it by an operating system. Here, the OS defines the connection between the disks, not the firmware on a machine. Implementing this tech as software has many advantages over other methods that we will discuss later. Here are some of its benefits:
- It is more flexible because you only need to configure it within an operating system without the entire hardware configuration. Configuring it is even easier when using Linux software since you can get several configurations.
- Also, it doesn’t add any extra costs because you don’t need to buy specialized hardware to implement it.
- It is easy to read its implementation on other systems because it’s an open-source product.
However, it has a few shortcomings worth noting before implementing it. Here is its leading limitation:
- Although it has no particular hardware it’s attached to, it is still tied to specific software requirements. For example, Windows and Linux have their specific software for implementing it.
You can also implement RAID using dedicated hardware without tying yourself to a specific software requirement. It also requires a dedicated processor. Executing RAID has its unique advantages, as we have listed below.
- It removes all complexities typical for the other two implementation methods.
- It’s available at the boot level because its array management doesn’t reside in the software.
- When you use genuine controllers, you eliminate the need for CPU cycles for managing underlying disks. Therefore, it saves you any additional cost you could have incurred to manage the attached storage appliances. This way, you enjoy better performance.
However, you will have to bear with a few shortcomings.
- If you want to enjoy the best quality controllers, you will have to pay for them.
- This implementation option tends to tie you to the vendor who made the hardware you use to execute it.
Hardware-Assisted Software RAID (Fake RAID)
This third option combines the first two. Its main advantage is that it lets you use several OS options that are not available on its software alterative.
Its primary drawbacks are:
- It shares its processing with the rest of the operating system.
- It has limited RAID support.
- This method limits and ties you to particular hardware that created it and manages it.
- You might also need to incur more costs to run it.
Key Considerations for RAID Implementation
Success in implementing this technology depends on several factors. Below are the main ones to consider when you implement RAID effectively:
- The system must be reliable to tolerate more disk errors.
- Its performance should have a good response time and a high throughput.
- Establish how much useful capacity is available to users.
- Lastly, consider how much of the system is available for actual use.
RAID is a useful tool for advancing data protection and performance in business. It has three main methods of implementation, each coming with its unique strengths and weaknesses. We hope the insights we shared here will enable you to choose the most appropriate method to meet your needs.