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6/13/2014 – Raid Configurations

Posted by Jamison on 13 06 2014.

One of dedicated server’s selling point is the amount of storage capacity it offers for one organization or client. Aside running a single drive high storage capacity, clients also have an option to add a secondary hard drive and apply RAID.


RAID stands for redundant array of inexpensive disks. This technology allows users to control two disks at the same time for higher space, treating the two disks as one or with the other as a mirror copy. This boosts disk performance and will be beneficial for a server used by a company with multitudes of users.


As you look for RAID feature on dedicated server providers, you will notice that you are given with two options to choose from: the hardware and software RAID. You’re probably confused with the options. It’s best to know what these options are and what they can do for you before adding it with your dedicated server plan.


Hardware RAID


This option, as the term imply, is hardware-based RAID that manages the subsystem independently from main disk. It will present a single disk after configuration. For example, the two disks used in a server is controlled by a SCSI controller. This results to detecting the two drives as a single SCSI drive. The SCSI controller serves as a communication module that makes it easier for users to access the drives. This communication refers to data handling and processes that make the drive detectable.


Software RAID


Software RAID works using a kernel disk code. This will implement RAID levels to the operating system accurately. Many individuals choose this solution because it is more cost effective compared to getting the SCSI controller for the drive. One of the good things about software RAID is its compatibility with different disk types including IDE disks, which are the early and cheapest type of traditional hard drives.


Aside from being cheap, software RAID also works well with today’s dedicated servers because of their offered resources. High server resources bundled with software RAID means stellar performance compared to hardware RAID.


Software RAID also support auto detection of CPUs installed in a server. However, this solution may not appeal well for the less technical individuals using the server.


Obtaining hardware and software RAIDs


Software RAID is indeed cheaper for users although may not be that suitable for the more traditionalist types who are more comfortable with SCSI controllers. As for price, software RAID can be included as a bundled feature with dedicated servers. Depending on the plan, a dedicated server provider may include one software RAID mirror for free. Obtaining the SCSI controller for hardware RAID is more expensive with possible recurring prices. If you’re planning to get RAID for multiple disks, better check the additional fee for obtaining the controller and setting it up.


Hardware and software RAIDs are modern-day solutions for servers with multiple disks. While one is cheaper, it is best to consider which option will work for you and your server usage. Check price details to ensure the service will fit your budget.