It is unwelcome, it is tedious, but it is inevitable.
Every service provider dreads a hard disk crash, and the downtime it can lead to, but it is one eventuality that will happen sooner or later.
Today was one such day. A high priority alert notified our Dedicated Linux Server Administrators about a degraded RAID array in a data center we managed. Hard disk crashes are a P0 (highest priority) alert in our infrastructure management procedures, and initiates an emergency response.
The ability to make choices based on facts and analysis, has always been a challenge for a person managing IT infrastructure. Much of this hardship can be attributed to the day to day advances in technology, and stiff markets.
Out here, we help to make one such choice – that of choosing Hardware or Software RAID. Earlier we ventured into basic concepts of RAID and comparison of various RAID levels. Here we describe and compare hardware and software RAID solutions.
Adopting a specific RAID technology, involves finding the right implementation that meets all your requirements. It is more or less, striking a balance between cost of devices, performance, and fault tolerance.
Apart from the big decision of selecting either hardware of software RAID, which I will cover in my next blog, selecting RAID levels is the first step.
A term coined decades ago, RAID is essentially, disks arranged in a manner to protect the information they contain – simply by adding redundancy.
While there are multiple expansions for RAID – Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, which has now transformed to Redundant Array of Independent Disks, the aim is essentially to protect the data and RAID achieves this, by not putting all the data into a single disk.
Performance of storage media, gains a lot of importance in cases where data in the media is to be constantly read from, or written to. Many a time, the bottleneck in a computing environment is related to this input/output performance. Most RAID configurations provide performance enhancement that make it a popular option of SME’s and web-hosts.