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Which RAID?

Q: I purchased a Glyph GT 062E RAID drive from Sweetwater, but I’m not sure how to use it. It says it has “RAID 0, RAID 1, and spanning modes.” Which is the best if I want to use this for backup?

A: A RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive/Independent Disks) uses multiple hard drives, which can be combined in various ways for either large amounts of storage or for protecting data from loss.

The Glyph GT RAID has two internal hard drives, and supports three types of RAID operation:

RAID 0 — The data is is written in small chunks, alternating back and forth across the drives. This increases the speed of the system, as the data is being written in small amounts to two different drives. It also increases the capacity, since the available space on both drives is added together. It does not, however, increase the data security, since if either drive fails half the data is lost. This mode is great for applications that demand fast writing and reading of a large amount of data, such as video or very high track count audio sessions.

RAID 1 — Also known as “mirroring” mode, with this mode, the same data is written to both drives simultaneously. This gives you an immediate duplicate or backup of your data. If one drive in the RAID fails, the other should still contain all the data and nothing will be lost. If your goal is the most secure backup and storage of your data, this is the best option with the GT 062E.

Spanning — In spanning mode, the two drives are treated as one huge drive by the computer. Use this mode when you need large capacity for storage. In this mode, files that are too large to fit on a single drive will be “continued” on the second drive. If one drive fails, the data on it will be lost. Whatever data is on the other one will survive.

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