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RAID = Backup?

You probably heard some of these before:

“I would like to use RAID as my backup”, “What kind of RAID should I use for backup?”, “I used RAID5 but why my data is still gone?”

This is simply because sometimes people misunderstand what RAID really is and what it can do. Therefore, that’s what we would like to explain briefly in this post and also tell you why RAID does not equal to a backup.

First of all, RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. It combines the storage capacity from multiple hard drives and creates a logical data storage along with data redundancy which gives you a certain level of data protection. Secondly, you need to understand that RAID IS NOT a backup. RAID mainly guards against hardware failures (e.g. hard drive), but that is not the only way you can lose your data. If you value your digital assets, you need to protect them from other risks, such as:

  • Viruses
  • File corruption (as a result of memory errors or power failure)
  • Theft of your system
  • Accidental deletion
  • Disasters (such as a fire or someone dumps water onto your NAS)

A sound backup strategy requires you to make at least two copies of your data, and keep at least one of which is stored offsite. A best practice of this is to store the original copy/data on your computer, and also keep a copy on your NAS with RAID.

If you are interested in learning more about RAID, here is a post from PCWorld which explains what RAID is and talks about some common RAID modes

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