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What is RAID?

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When you choose to buy a Dedicated Server from Hostwinds, you will notice the option to include RAID as part of your server. There are various types, or “levels” of Raid, which are different in what they do and why they’re used. We’ll walk through them here.

Raid Levels

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Raid 0

Also known as “Disk striping”, Raid 0 requires two hard drives. It spreads your data across two hard drives for faster access, so parts of your data will be on each drive. This improves read speed, since the computer can read from both disks at once. However, if either drive fails for any reason, all the data is lost for both. This option is best used with large HDDs, since the performance boost won’t be as noticeable with SSDs.

Raid 1

Also known as “Disk Mirroring”, Raid 1 also requires two hard drives. Raid 1 simply makes each drive a copy of the other, so if one drive fails, the other has a full backup and can keep your site or service running until the failed drive can be replaced. This option is best to if you want to keep your data safe and your site running, no matter what.

Raid 5

Raid 5 uses block-level striping and distributed parity. What this means is that large sections of data are spread across multiple hard drives and set up so that if any drive is lost, the drives still working can rebuild the lost data. This improves performance speed like Raid 0, without the risk of data loss. Raid 0 is still faster, but Raid 5 is much faster than Raid 1. It requires at least three hard drives.

Raid 6

Raid 6 works like Raid 5, except that it adds a second parity block. It requires at least four hard drives. Raid 6 works similarly to Raid 5, but it can rebuild lost data from up to two lost drives instead of one. This means it’s slightly more reliable than Raid 5, but with a slightly lower speed when adding data to the system.

Raid 10

Raid 10 is basically running Raid 1 and Raid 0 at the same time. Two disks are set up in Raid 0, and they’re mirrored through Raid 1. This allows the best of both worlds. Raid 10 has the speed of Raid 0 with the reliability of Raid 1. However, it needs at least four drives, and if any of them fail, it needs to be replaced to avoid data loss. Raid 10 is one of the most powerful and reliable RAID options overall.

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