Guidelines concerning RAID

Here are some guidelines based on some real world experience:

  1. Mirrors of single, whole drives is simplest. The ability to take one drive out of an array and read it elsewhere can be a real timesaver over restoring from backup.
  2. If your application demands utmost performance, consider investing in a hardware-based RAID controller and RAID-10. Otherwise, a hybrid or software-based RAID-10 solution may be sufficient.
  3. If capacity needs are high and performance and budget requirements are low, a parity-based solution may be a good fit. Consider using RAID-6, particularly if the array will have large numbers of high capacity drives.
  4. If data integrity is the utmost importance, consider a three-copy mirror and ReFS using Storage Spaces. Background data scrubbing and majority-vote-wins concepts will significantly reduce the chance of spurious data corruption.
  5. And most importantly: Make sure you have a good backup strategy, and you know you can restore!

The above guidelines are from a guest editorial by Mike Pepe in Issue #928 of our newsletter WServerNews. Mike joined Microsoft in 2006 after working in the IT field for ten years providing clustering, backup, and storage solutions for the telecommunications industry. At the time of writing his guest editorial he was a Service Engineer working on datacenter-scale automation and service design for the Bing Information Platform at Microsoft. Read this issue for more from Mike concerning RAID solutions.

The above tip was previously published in an issue of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to WServerNews today by going to and join almost 100,000 other IT professionals around the world who read our newsletter!

Mitch Tulloch is an eleven-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud computing technologies.  Mitch is also Senior Editor of WServerNews. For more information about him see


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