RAID, or Redundant Array of Independent Disks, is a method for storing data on multiple hard disks, then linking the disks so that the operating system on your server views them as a single entity. At WestHost, we offer RAID for both SATA and SCSI hard drives in 3 different configurations with our Dedicated Servers:
RAID-0: This type of RAID uses a method of data storage known as striping. The technology divides the data into pieces, and places each piece on a different drive. For instance, data piece A may be stored on Drive 1, while data piece B goes to Drive 2, C is on Drive 3, and so on. Because the data is divided, RAID-0 offers the top level of performance for disk IO. It is usually used for multimedia applications such as video editing and for situations where data loss is not as much a concern as is speed.
RAID-0 does not actually provide redundancy and therefore all data is lost if one of the drives fails. We strongly recommend that daily backups are performed if you choose this RAID level.
RAID-1: This type of RAID uses a method of data storage known as mirroring. This refers to the fact that every piece of data is written to at least two disks. As a result, RAID-1 offers a high degree of data security, but has a slight performance decrease because it requires capturing all data on two disks.
RAID-5: This type of RAID is the most widely used because it offers a useful combination of protection and speed. It works by making enough of the data redundant so that even if a drive fails, it's still possible to recreate and retrieve the information. Offering the best performance with data protection, this solution is ideal for high performance databases and sites that require high disk throughput.
RAID-1 + Hot Spare: This type of RAID is useful in the event that one of your drives fail. RAID-1 + Hot Spare allows the drive to be replaced or rebuilt without powering down the system. The Hot Spare offers additional redundancy by ensuring that you have two good drives at all times.