RAID Levels & Fault Tolerance

Before choosing a software solution for your business, it’s important that you first decide what exactly you want to receive from the product that you are paying for. Surely, in your search for a storage solution, you’ve come across the term “RAID” or a “Redundant Array of Independent Disks.” Basically, RAID is used when a company needs to improve performance or allow some expanded fault tolerance for a server or a network-attached storage device.

What is Fault Tolerance?

RAID Fault Tolerance - ACNC What is fault tolerance in RAID? If you want to find a solution that allows some level of fault tolerance, you are looking for a storage solution that, in the event that something fails, in any operating system, the system can still run properly without failing completely. Fault tolerance in software or storage solutions usually utilizes mirroring. Mirroring means that the system performs operations on more than one system – so that in the event of a failure, the system doesn’t lose any information, and the user can continue working on a separate system.

How Does RAID Affect Fault Tolerance?

RAID storage solutions have different levels – most commonly used are:

  • RAID 0 – provides no fault tolerance, but it increases disk speed 2x or better.
  • RAID 1 – mirrors the data on multiple disks to provide fault tolerance, but requires more space for less data.
  • RAID 5 – strips the disks similar to RAID 0, but doesn’t provide the same amount of disk speed. Has fault tolerance without the loss of any data.
  • RAID 6 – minimum of four disks. Same as RAID 5, but the system can fail twice and not lose any data.
  • RAID 7.3 – This new RAID option answers the need for a triple-parity RAID. With RAID 5 and RAID 6 beginning to become inadequate, this option is beginning to take the steps necessary to provide a more reliable storage option that RAID 5 and RAID 6.
  • RAID 10 – this option is costly, but it combines RAID 0 and RAID 1. The RAID 10 option requires four disks, and can continue to operate without loss of any data so long as the failures occur in different subgroups.

Deciding on a software or hardware version of RAID is equally as important. The software version of a RAID solution supports fewer of the RAID levels you may need than the hardware RAID does.

What RAID Solution Is Best For Me?

Analyze your company. Do you value fault tolerance more than the speed and performance of your system? If so, RAID 1 or RAID 10 may be the best option. If you are more concerned with the performance of your system, RAID 0 and RAID 5 would be a good decision. If you value fault tolerance and system performance equally, spending the extra money for RAID 6 or RAID 10 – and ensuring that your system will not suffer in performance, and your data is safe from system failure – are the better options.

If you are unsure of what your company needs, contact AC&NC and use our live chat to speak with one of our experts today! We’ll help you find the right storage solutions for your business.

Video Editing Storage Solutions: Choosing a Storage Server

Video Editing Software - ACNCIf you plan on investing time and money into developing a video editing career, or if your business requires a lot of video editing, choosing the correct video storage server is essential to your success. But when outfitting your employees with the right software is complicated enough, how do you go about finding the correct video editing storage solution for the entire operation to rely on?

What Software Are You Using?

Before you can begin deciding on a video storage solution, you have to choose what kind of software you want to use first. Different video editing software requires different storage capacities as well. Unless you are planning on editing home videos, or are just beginning to dabble in video production and editing, you will most likely need a commercial grade software. Be sure to make note of how much storage space the software itself takes up, so that you can calculate that into how much space you will need to hold all of your data.

The most important part of choosing a video editing storage solution is to be sure it has enough capacity so that your processor isn’t continuously slowed down with too much data. When working with a video editor, your data can reach the Terabyte capacity quickly, and you will need a storage device that can support it. Some suggest having two separate hard drives – one with 1 TB of storage for input/output, and another for storing the video’s final cut. If you agree, looking at RAID options – such as RAID 0 – may be of help.

Which is Better: SAN or NAS?

Both SAN and NAS storage devices are acceptable options when looking for a storage solution for video editing. To choose, decide how you would like to receive your data – directly or from a storage server (similar to receiving data from the internet.) If you would like direct access to your data at all times and across all servers, a Storage Area Network (SAN) storage solution would be your choice. The Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution is the option you would choose if you would rather receive your information from a specific storage drive. Either option would be suitable for video editing, so long as there is enough available storage for your data.

Some video editors may suggest upgrading to an SSD rather than an HDD. While SSDs are more expensive, they have the ability to access applications much more quickly and can speed up the video editing process. Some video editors will say that SSDs have little to no impact on the actual editing process, and others say they do increase their productivity. Choosing to get an SSD wouldn’t hurt if you are rendering a lot of information and are needing to open applications more quickly, but if you don’t want to add the extra expense, it won’t harm the video editing process.

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