RAID (redundant array of independent disks, originally redundant array of inexpensive disks) is a storage technology that combines multiple disk drive components into a logical unit. RAID is now used as an umbrella term for computer data storage schemes that can divide and replicate data among multiple physical drives.


RAID1A RAID 1 creates an exact copy (or mirror) of a set of data on two disks. This is useful when read performance or reliability is more important than data storage capacity. Such an array can only be as big as the smallest member disk. A classic RAID 1 mirrored pair contains two disks (see diagram), which increases reliability geometrically over a single disk. Since each member contains a complete copy of the data, and can be addressed independently, ordinary wear-and-tear reliability is raised by the power of the number of self-contained copies.


RAID4: A RAID 4 uses block-level striping with a dedicated parity disk. This allows each member of the set to act independently when only a single block is requested. If the disk controller allows it, a RAID 4 set can service multiple read requests simultaneously. It is implemented with hardware support for parity calculations, and a minimum of three disks is required for a complete RAID 4 configuration.


RAID5: A RAID 5 uses block-level striping with parity data distributed across all member disks. RAID 5 has achieved popularity because of its low cost of redundancy. This can be seen by comparing the number of drives needed to achieve a given capacity. In most implementations, a minimum of three disks is required for a complete RAID 5 configuration. In some implementations a degraded RAID 5 disk set can be made (three disk set of which only two are online), while mdadm supports a fully functional (non-degraded) RAID 5 setup with two disks - which functions as a slow RAID-1, but can be expanded with further volumes.


RAID6: RAID 6 extends RAID 5 by adding an additional parity block; thus it uses block-level striping with two parity blocks distributed across all member disks. RAID 6 does not have a performance penalty for read operations, but it does have a performance penalty on write operations because of the overhead associated with parity calculations


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