About Hardware-Based Solutions
RAID (redundant array of independent disks) levels 0, 1, 3, and 5 are the levels typically implemented in hardware-based solutions.
Hardware-based RAID uses an intelligent drive controller and a redundant array of disk drives to protect against data loss in the event of media failure and to improve the performance of read/write operations. A disk array is an effective disk-storage solution for computers running Microsoft® SQL Server™2000.
Hardware-based RAID levels 1 through 5 automate redundancy and fault tolerance at the hardware level. All levels (0 through 5) incur no overhead on the system processor. Individual data files are typically spread across more than one disk. It is possible to implement a hardware-based RAID solution that provides your system with seamless, nonstop recovery from media failure.
In general, hardware-based RAID offers performance advantages over Microsoft Windows NT® or Windows® 2000 software-based RAID. For example, you can improve data throughput significantly by implementing RAID 5 through hardware that does not use system software resources. This is accomplished by using more disks at a given capacity than in conventional storage solution. Read/write performance and total storage size can be further improved by using multiple controllers.
Depending on the configuration, hardware-based RAID generally provides good performance. It also makes it much easier to manage multiple disks, allowing you to treat an array of disks as one disk. You may even be able to replace a failed drive without shutting down the system. The disadvantages of a hardware-based solution are cost, and it may lock you into a single vendor.
For more information about implementing hardware-based RAID, contact the hardware vendor.