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Last Updated December 10, 2003

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RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) 

RAID allows Administrators to take a number of separate hard drives (usually between 2 and 5) and use them together to operate as a single, virtual hard drive. When using a RAID, you don't see icons for each one of the disks on the desktop but rather a single icon that represents the array. RAID can be used to improve server performance, fault tolerance, or both. Windows 2000 Server support 3 levels of RAID: RAID 0 (Striping - Volume Sets), RAID 1 (Mirroring/Duplexing), and RAID 5 (Striping with parity).

Where to Start...

Getting Real About RAID Subsystems
Don't assume that all RAID subsystems enjoy the same standard of equality. Elizabeth M. Ferrarini provides the questions (and their rationale) you need to ask your vendor about what you need to know before buying into a RAID subsystem. Source: EarthWeb (March 2001)

Hardware or software based RAID: Which solution is based for you?
Whitepaper from Adaptec

HOW TO: Establish a Striped Volume with Parity (RAID-5)
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article  Q303237 - A striped volume with parity, which is also called RAID-5 in Windows 2000, combines areas of free space from multiple hard disks (from 3 to 32) into one logical volume.

HOW TO: Establish a Striped Volume (RAID 0)
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 303184 - A striped volume (RAID 0) combines areas of free space from multiple hard disks (anywhere between 2 and 32) into one logical volume. Data that is written to a striped volume is interleaved to all disks at the same time rather than sequential

HOW TO: Mirror the System and Boot Partition (RAID1) 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 302969 - This step-by-step article describes how to mirror the system and boot partition on a Windows 2000 Server. This scenario is based on the assumption that the system and boot files are on disk 0 and disk 1 is unallocated space. 

How to select a RAID disk array
RAID can be a confusing technology to master. Follow these guidelines to shop for the RAID disk array that's right for your storage needs. Source: EarthWeb (July 13, 2000)

IBM Overview of RAID
RAID Primer from Big Blue.

RAID Advisory Board
A technical consortium of 40 hardware manufacturers that provide a technical forum and standards for RAID.

RAID Levels
Another technical overview of RAID from Adaptec

RAID Levels
RAID level numbers and the definitions. Source: Windows 2000 Magazine (August 1997)

RAID 1 and RAID 5 in Windows 2000 Server
RAID, commonly known as Redundant Array of Independent Disks, defines how data can be stored across multiple disks, and how those disks can provide improved disk performance and fault tolerance. Fault tolerance is the ability of a computer to recover from a catastrophic event such without losing any data. Source; Swynk (March 29, 2001)

RAID-Related Terms
Definitions of RAID-related technologies. Source: Windows 2000 Magazine (August 1997)

RAID Setup and Maintenance
An excellent article that covers common procedures for setting up and configuring RAID, outlines different RAID levels, and details procedures you need to know in case of failure. Source: Windows NT Systems Magazine (Feb 1999)

Tips for RAID. Source: Windows 2000 Magazine (August 1997)

The future of RAID in an NT Environment
An excellent article by Peter Doob on some of the technological weaknesses of RAID, and its future. Source: Windows NT Systems Magazine (March 1998)

What exactly is RAID?
Brief explanation of RAID from ZDNet How-to Guide

Useful Articles worth reading...

Beyond RAID 5: Mirroring your way to fault-tolerant storage
Standard RAID systems don't provide for a single point of failure, so here are three mirroring methods to protect you from the dangers of component failure. Source: EarthWeb (June 12, 2000)

Building an IDE RAID, Part I
RAID means different things to different people. To felons, it©s a sweep by a group of SWAT officers. IT people involved in data management recognize it as a technology often used to improve storage performance and security. This tutorial, the first in a series, discusses the installation of a RAID array and explores some of the surprises that crop up in the process. Source: 8 Wire

Building an IDE RAID, Part II: Adding Win2K and Testing Performance
In the first part of this series, I took a brief look at RAID and discussed some of my experiences with IDE RAID. Here I'll discuss some of the tribulations of getting a Win2K machine to boot from my new drive. Source: 8 Wire

Building an IDE RAID, Part III: Success, and Other Details
I've had my share of challenges during this endeavor, among them not being able to install and boot Windows 2000 from the RAID array. Then it occured to me that if disabling the SCSI BIOS enabled me to install W2K on an IDE drive, would I also be able to install Windows onto my RAID array? Source: 8 Wire

Checklist for installing RAID without worry
When you're installing a major new network component like server storage, you should be well prepared--before, during, and after the installation process. Source: EarthWeb (July 21, 2000)

Overview of Disk Mirroring (RAID Level 1) in Windows NT
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 114779 -Provides an overview of disk mirroring (RAID Level 1) under Windows NT. (updated Feb. 3, 1999)

Overview of Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID)
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 100110 - Explains the differences between redundant arrays of inexpensive disks (RAID) versions 0 through 5, and what Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server supports. This article also explains some of the advantages and disadvantages of the various RAID configurations.

Sizing Your NT RAID Array
Know how to troubleshoot bottlenecks in your disk subsystem, and you can properly size a RAID array to give you breathing room for future workloads. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (August 1998)

What to Look for When Selecting a Scalable RAID Array
There are several things to consider when looking for a robust and scalable RAID array solution to store your important enterprise data. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (March 1999)

Why is RAID 5 Slow on Writes?
How a write operation occurs on a RAID 5 volume. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine (April 2000)

Troubleshooting: Known Bugs and Issues
Extending Hardware RAID Array May Cause Dynamic Unreadable/Offline Error
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 294244 - Windows 2000 supports dynamic disks which may be contained on a hardware raid array. Some hardware RAID arrays allow you to add more drive space to extend the RAID array. This adds the new free disk space to the end of the existing disk. 

Mirrored Drives Larger Than 137 GB Perform Slowly 
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 314695 - Using 48-bit Logical Block Addressing (LBA) support (per ATA/ATAPI-6) permits hard disks to be larger than 137 gigabytes (GB) in size. When 48-bit LBA support is turned on for ATA Packet Interface (ATAPI) drives in a RAID 1 (mirroring) configuration, performance is noticeably reduced. 

Windows 2000 Setup May Reset SCSI Interrupt Steering Logic (SISL) RAID Configuration
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: 259469 - When you install Windows 2000 on a computer with a SCSI Interrupt Steering Logic (SISL) server board, your computer may display the following informational message, and then stop responding (hang) during the Text-Mode portion of Setup: 

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