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Microphone Month

RAID drives for video

“I’m interested in editing digital video and I’ve seen Glyph’s DV-Project hard drives on your site. You say that this is a “RAID Array” hard drive system. Why is that good for editing video?”

A RAID (an acronym for Redundant Array of Independent Disks) system is multiple hard drives doing the work of one drive, usually with redundancy. It was initially developed to improve hard drive performance as well as increase reliability. While there are various levels of RAID, the most commonly used for video is RAID 0. RAID 0 isn’t technically a real RAID; it’s the only one where there is actually no redundancy between the drives making up the system. But it’s excellent as a low cost way to get more performance out of drives. The reason RAID 0 is a performance-enhancing configuration is because the data is striped across multiple drives at the same time. Since the data is spread out across a number of drives in the array it can be accessed faster. This is especially beneficial for retrieving very large files (such as video files), since they can be spread out effectively across multiple drives and accessed as if it were the size of any of the fragments it is organized into on the data stripes. But RAID 0 only boosts performance significantly when accessing large files such as done when editing video (other RAID levels can be more appropriate for other purposes, such as server, etc.). While RAID 0 can greatly improve performance in certain situations, there are also some drawbacks that need to be considered. Since the data is spread across two drives in a RAID 0 array, the failure of one drive will cause you to lose all data on both drives. Also, in a RAID 0 array, the operating system will see the two hard drives as one larger single drive. So, the reason Glyph’s DV-Project hard drive system features a RAID Array is that it is simply a great way to handle such large files effectively!

Note: We plan to cover the specifics of the various levels of RAID in a series of upcoming WFTD entries. Stay tuned!

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