I'm thinking about getting a external hard drive and I think that raid would be the way to go. I've found a nice hard drive enclosure that supports two hard drives and raid 0/1. I'm not sure what the difference is between the two different raid technologies. i'm not looking for redundency, I'm just looking for extra storage. could someone explain to me what the difference is between raid 0 and raid 1 and all the other raids up to 5 for that matter. and what are the best uses for each type of raid.
yes that helps a lot. I knew that one of them was for redundancy and the other wasn't. I'm not gonna set up a server or anything like that that need back up and redundancy. I just need more hard drive space for now. I do my programming on two notebook computers and my external 250gig drive is starting to get max'd out. so I'm looking into expanding it to a raid.
are there any restricitons on the kind of drive that I stripe? for example if I just want to stripe 2 drives, I'm assuming that they need to be the same capacity and speed. what other kind of hardware if any would I need to configure a raid 0? I have a 250 gig Lacie drive and I'm probly just gonna get second one just like it. owc has a nice enclosure that is configured for raid 0/1 but its like $150 just for the enclose. so I'm think that it would be cheaper to just get a second drive and raid the two that I have.
Most PC's do not have RAID capability built in although it is becoming more popular with SATA drives. You can buy a RAID PCI card that will allow you to connect multiple drives and then use RAID. You will need to check the specifications of the RAID card to see which RAID levels are supported.
If you just want to add a drive, you can do that without using RAID. Your computer would see two separate drives instead of one big drive but this method requires no RAID card. Your PC should already have a drive cable that supports two hard drives. All you would have to do is assign a drive letter to the second drive and use it as needed.
Keep in mind that if you decide to use RAID 0 and you want one large volume, you will have to either reformat your existing drive or use partitioning software to extend the volume.
If you are using Windows XP, and the OS is not installed on the RAID drives; then you can use Windows to do the RAID for you. XP has built in software controllers for striping hard drives.
I'm not sure you will get any speed benefit if you are connecting via USB2, or Firewire. These ports run slower than a hard drive by itself, so the limiting factor is the connection to the PC, not the drives themselves. USB 2 will transfer at 480Mbits/s; Firewire at 400Mbits/s (although in tests firewire outperforms USB2). Compare this to a standard ATA/133 drive that can transfer data at 133MB/s (1064Mbits/s). OK, so hard drives can't read quite that fast, but they can outperform Firewire by themselves, so with 2 of them, there really will be no performance gain.