What is RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 5?
by Creative COW on Aug 10, 2009 at 4:00:13 pm
To RAID drives for editing means you take 2 or more hard drives and stripe them together as one large media drives. You do this using Apple's Disc Utility and just use the RAID function in there. The more drives you stripe together, the more speed you get out of your media array and the more realtime functionality you'll get from your FCP system.
RAID 0 means you have a hard drive array striped for the absolute fastest speed possible. The trade-off is you have absolutely ZERO protection in the event of a drive failure. If any of the drives in your array fail, you more than likely have lost all of your data. If you run in RAID 0, it is highly recommended that you also run some sort of a backup device to protect your data each day. A RAID 0 can be set up with as few as 2 hard drives.
RAID 1 means you have a hard drive array striped so that all of the data is mirrored. This essentially splits your storage in half so that you are writing / editing to half of the array and the other half is creating a mirror copy of all your data. This gives you absolute protection against data loss, but cuts your storage capacity in half and seriously slows down your array speed. This is really not a recommended RAID setup for video editing. RAID 1 can be set up with as few as 2 hard drives.
RAID 5 means you have a hard drive array that can rebuild itself in the event of a single hard drive failure. This is a great combination of high speed and protection for your data. The array has one drive essentially on "stand-by" that will immediately activate in the event that any of the other drives in the array fail. The data will not be lost and you will not lose any time editing. With the properly configured array, you should not even know that a drive has failed, it should all happen seamlessly in the background.
RAID 5 is not something you can set up with Apple's Disc Utility, this requires software from your Host Adapter, or the hardware card that your drive connects to. Companies such as ATTO, LaCie, Areca, and Dulce provide software with their Host Adapters that allow you to configure your array as a RAID 5 before you using Apple's Disc Utility to actually erase and stripe the RAID. Ihighly recommend you speak directly to the company tech support if you have never set up a RAID 5 before or do not understand any of the instructions that come with your software. If the array is not set up correctly, you will most likely get reduced speeds and potentially dropped frame issues.
RAID 5 requires at least 3 hard drives striped together, though 5, 8 and 14 drives is more common.