A term that you'll see in many of our product listings here is “RAID.” “Ah-ha!” you may think. “This is for getting rid of bugs in my computer!” Well, no, you probably don't think this, and that's a good thing, because if you did, you would be wrong.


RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, and to put it simply RAID is multiple hard drives working together as one. There are different types of RAID arrays, also known as RAID levels, and they have different advantages and disadvantages, and I'll get into those in a later installment.


RAID can be handled through hardware or through software. The advantage of software RAID is that separate hardware isn't required, but the downside is that the system has to expend resources in performing all of the calculations that are associated with RAID.


Hardware RAID offloads those calculations onto a separate processor dedicated to just this task, improving overall performance compared to software RAID. Another advantage of hardware RAID can include such features as battery-backed cache.