RAID is Not a Backup

With the release of dpBestflow, we’ve seen a resurgence in questions about RAID.

If there’s only one thing to know about RAID, it’s this:
RAID is not a backup.

RAID is not a backup strategy and does not replace a backup strategy.

RAID’s single purpose on this earth is to mitigate the effects of hardware failure, helping reduce the loss of data and time when a drive fails. The only thing is protects against is one kind of hardware failure: A failed hard disk.

And even in its single purpose, RAID isn’t infallible. While it’s somewhat unlikely, you can have multiple drives in a RAID set fail and eat your data. Or the RAID controller can go mental and eat all your data. Or an electrical surge takes out your RAID enclosure, eating your data.

RAID has become a buzzword, and the facts of the technology have fallen far behind the marketing. It’s not unusual for someone to come to us saying “I want RAID” only to discover (1) it doesn’t do what they thought it did, and (2) isn’t a good solution for them.

If you’re working in an extremely time-sensitive environment, RAID can be a huge asset. In many other cases, though, it’s a solution in search of a problem.

For readers looking for more in-depth information, we’re currently reworking our RAID article and it should be back up shortly.

Still got questions? Contact us. We’d be happy to help you determine whether RAID is right for you as part of a consultation. And whether it is or isn’t, we’ll help you build a workflow and storage system that works for you.

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