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By Ben Puzzuoli, Director Sales & Marketing at DataDepositBox
Data Deposit Box Cloud Backup Expert Tips: Improving Data Reliability and Performance Using RAID System
RAID is an acronym for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, which for many Small and Mid-sized Businesses (SMBs) can also mean “redundant array of inexpensive disks”.
In the cloud backup world, RAID is important because it means that your backup data is automatically and simultaneously written on to two or more hard drives to prevent loss of data. It also provides high availability storage for recovery.
RAID technology really means that you get storage reliability. Multiple low cost disk drives are combined into an array of interdependent components to form a logical unit. The technology divides and replicates the data and copies it on the multiple drives simultaneously so that failure of one drive will not snap the connection and lock out the end user from access to the data.
The type of RAID technology in use is determined by the arrangement of the disks. The disks are said to be in RAIDx, where “x” references the number of disks in the array design. Proprietary hardware and software schemas can also be set up in RAID.
Since the purpose of RAID is to ensure data reliability and increase output/input performance, configurations are made with the end user needs in mind. Some RAID schemas work by mirroring data instantaneously on to the other disks. Other schemas cause sequential blocks of data to be split into multiple disks during backup. In many cases, error correction is used when data is stored to allow for detection of errors and repairs or for fault tolerance. Whatever the configuration, computer systems will see the RAID disk as a single disk and not as multiple disks.
Each RAID schema has an impact on the reliability and performance of the cloud backup service performance. For example, if the number of disks in an array is increased, there is greater likelihood that one or more disks may fail. However, if error checking is used, the array of disks can be made more reliable and capable of recovering from failure of one of those disks.
Mirroring can also speed up data access as multiple disks can be read at the same time. Mirroring may also slow down storage of data as it must write to multiple disks simultaneously. Error checking is seen to typically decrease performance as data is read from multiple disks and compared before it is displayed to the user. As you can see, different configurations of RAID can have an impact on the speed and performance of the online backup service and most designs attempt to balance reliability with performance on one or more these aspects.
The RAID schema that will suit your needs best should be determined by the way you use the online backup service. Consider whether you write to disk storage more often than you read from it in the online data repository. If you are very concerned about data protection and redundancy of backups, mirroring will be essential for recovery. If you are concerned about ensuring that your data is error free and you are not too worried about performance, then error checking will be critical. If you are not sure what kind of technology will match your needs, then ask your provider or contact support services for more help.
At Data Deposit Box, we have used the most reliable storage systems available. Since we launched the original Data Deposit Box service in 2003, we have relied on the latest industry-leading storage technologies and today use configurations of RAID6 from Dell to guarantee faultless service to our customers. We are proud to say that we have never lost any of our customers’ backup data and that’s not something that many cloud backup providers can claim. Our award winning solutions deliver access to your digital assets from desktops, laptops and the latest iPhone and iPad devices 24 x 7 x 365, anywhere and everywhere your business takes you.
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