Server Buying Guide: Choose Right RAID Configuration

Posted by The Team at CXtec on Feb 22, 2024 1:50:14 AM

When searching for a new server, choosing the right Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) configuration is a difficult...

When searching for a new server, choosing the right Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) configuration is a difficult decision to make because unlike what most buyers think, it is about more than just tech specs. You need to find the right RAID configuration that will keep your server ready for whatever comes its way.

You need to keep your data safe without compromising speed, all while keeping an eye on your budget and planning.

That’s why we created this guide to help you choose the right RAID configuration according to your specific business needs.

What is RAID?

RAID is a combination of multiple hard drives in one unit that safeguards data against hardware failure. If one drive takes a hit, your data stays safe because it is backed up across the other hard drives. It's a safety net for your business’s vital information.

Businesses prefer a RAID setup because it ensures operations continue smoothly. It’s not just RAID that servers run on; they rely on processors for computing tasks, RAM for fast data access, storage for holding data long-term, and operating systems to manage hardware and software.

RAID is not a substitute for regular backups. It is complementary to a comprehensive data protection strategy. So, if you plan to put all your eggs in the RAID basket, you will need to reimagine your disaster recovery strategy.

Understand Different RAID Configurations

Each RAID level has advantages and disadvantages, typically balancing between performance, capacity, and data protection. Your configuration choice should align with your specific business needs, whether it is speed, data security, or a balance of both.

  • RAID 0:Spreads data across multiple disks for faster performance but has no fault tolerance. If one disk fails, all data is lost.
  • RAID 1:Mirrors data between two disks. It provides excellent fault tolerance because of duplicated data, but it's not as fast as other configurations.
  • RAID 5:Distributes data and parity information across three or more disks. It offers a good balance of speed and data protection, allowing for one disk failure.
  • RAID 6:Like RAID 5 but adds an extra layer of parity data, allowing it to survive two disk failures. It's more secure but uses more disk space for parity.
  • RAID 10:Combines mirroring of RAID 1 with the striping of RAID 0. It offers fast performance and good fault tolerance but requires at least four disks.
  • RAID 50: Combines features of RAID 5 and RAID 0, offering better performance and larger volume sizes with fault tolerance. It requires at least six disks.
  • RAID 60:Combination of RAID 6 and RAID 0, offering improved fault tolerance and performance over RAID 50 but requiring at least eight disks.

Important: Pay Attention to RAID When Selecting Server

Consider RAID configurations when selecting a server for reasons tied to core needs of business IT infrastructure.

A RAID configuration should align with your business’s specific needs regarding data protection, performance, and budget constraints.

1. Data Redundancy and Fault Tolerance

RAID configurations, such as RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 6, provide redundancy and fault tolerance. They ensure that in the event of a disk failure, data remains accessible, minimizing downtime and the risk of data loss.

RAID 1 achieves this through mirroring, RAID 5 and 6 utilize parity for data recovery, allowing operations to continue even when one or two disks fail, respectively.

2. Improve Performance

RAID 0, known for striping data across multiple disks, significantly boosts read-and-write performance by utilizing multiple disks concurrently, but it lacks redundancy. So, if you have applications that need both high performance and redundancy, RAID 10 is best for your business because it combines the benefits of RAID 0 and RAID 1.

3. Increase Storage Capacity

By combining multiple disks into a single logical unit, RAID configurations can significantly increase storage capacity. RAID 0, for example, allows for full utilization of all disks' storage, although without redundancy. With RAID 5 and 6, you get both increased capacity and data protection.

4. Scalability

RAID configurations provide scalability, enabling you to expand the server’s storage capacity and performance during an uptick. If you need to upgrade a RAID setup, you can simply choose to add more disks or switch to a configuration that better meets your evolving requirements.

5. Enhance Data Protection

With RAID 6, you get an extra layer of data protection with dual parity, safeguarding against multiple disk failures. This level of protection is for mission-critical systems when data integrity is vital.

6. Cost Effectiveness

RAID can be a cost-effective solution for businesses. While RAID 1 provides a straightforward approach to redundancy without significant overhead, RAID 5 and RAID 10 offer a balance of performance, redundancy, and storage capacity without requiring the most expensive hardware.

7. Load Balancing

Certain RAID levels can help distribute workloads evenly across multiple disks, preventing any single disk from becoming a bottleneck. This improves the overall efficiency and performance of the system.

How can CXtec help you find the best refurbished servers?

With a strong focus on RAID configurations that offer the best mix of redundancy, performance, and cost efficiency, CXtec is your go-to partner when it comes to finding refurbished servers that fit your business needs. 

Our rigorous testing process ensures that each refurbished server we offer aligns with our high standards of quality and reliability. By opting for refurbished servers, you can participate in the green revolution—saving greens while being an environment-conscious business.

Trust us to be your partner in building a robust and cost-effective IT environment, where choosing the right RAID configuration becomes a seamless part of enhancing the operational efficiency of your business.