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Comparing Different Implementations of RAID Levels

The following tables show the advantages and disadvantages to using the various implementations of RAID (redundant array of independent disks).

RAID implementation

Advantage

Disadvantage

Microsoft Windows 2000 or later RAID-5 volumes

No added hardware cost.

Uses system processing resources.

Hardware-based striping

Does not compete for processor cycles. Best performance of all RAID implementations.

Additional cost of specialized hardware.

RAID solutions that are typically used with SQL Server provide varying levels of redundancy and fault tolerance.

RAID implementation

Advantage

Disadvantage

Hardware-based RAID 3, 5, or 10

Excellent performance. Does not compete for processor cycles.

Cost.

Hardware-based RAID 1

Excellent redundancy. Does not compete for processor cycles.

Additional cost because of more hardware.

Hardware-based RAID 10

Excellent performance. Excellent redundancy.

Additional cost because of more hardware.

Windows 2000 or later mirrored volumes

Good redundancy. Low cost.

Uses system processing resources.

Windows 2000-based RAID 5

Excellent read performance. Low cost.

Uses system processing resources.

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