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TekSpek Hard Drives


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RAID 0: Striping
Striping is a method of decreasing the amount of time taken to write data to the drives. If one imagines a large tank of water containing 1,000l of water with a tap at the base. Emptying that water into a 5,000l swimming pool will take a set amount of time. If however, a second tap is installed into the tank and it is used to fill two 5,000l swimming pools then the amount of time taken to will be halved.

Similarly, a hard drive has a maximum read/write speed, so writing a 1GiB file to a single drive will take a set amount of time. However, when writing that data to a striped array with 2 disks, you are writing 500MiB to each drive, theoretically halving the amount of time taken to write the data. With four disks in the array 250MiB is written to each disk, again decreasing the total amount of time taken for the data to be written. In this scenario, files are split into stripes of a pre-determined size and spread over the drives in the array rather than some files going on one drive in their entirety and others on another.

Striping, however, does not provide any method of redundancy. Should one disk fail all the data stored on the array will be lost. If you lose a single disk from a two disk array, you have essentially lost half the data making up the files stored on the array, with no means of reconstructing the lost data. This type of array is best where read and write speeds are paramount, either for an intensive procedure such as video or graphics editing or where data is infrequently changed but regularly backed up by external means.

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