IS RAID WORTH IT?
WILL A DRIVE THAT CONTAINS MULTIPLE DISKS REALLY SAVE YOUR BACON (AND YOUR PHOTOS)?
Hard drives that offer RAID have two or more hard disks that can be configured to operate together in a number of ways. Conveniently, the various options are numbered according a standard set of levels. For instance, RAID 0 effectively treats the separate disks as a single unit, offering increased total capacity and a boost in speed; while RAID 1 uses each of the drives to simultaneously mirror the contents of the others.
The built-in redundancy offered by RAID 1 means that, although you’ll be able to archive fewer pictures, you’re getting additional protection should one disk fail. It might sound as though it’s a fuss-free way to automatically back up a photo collection, as each disk in the array will be a duplicate of all the others. But in fact, it isn’t. It’s rather like putting all your eggs in one basket: if you accidentally delete an image from one disk, it will disappear from the others; if one disk is corrupted by an operating system or virus, then all disks in the array will be affected; if there’s a fire, flood or theft, then you’ve lost everything.
The flexibility offered by RAID means that it’s useful for archiving pictures and, in RAID 1 configuration at least, if one drive crashes, you’ll still have at least one other that’s working. But archiving files and backing them up are different things: it’s better to have additional, dedicated backup storage solutions available to create distinct copies.