Why You Should Never Use RAID as a Backup Solution?

RAID can provide data redundancy and improve the performance of hard disks. But it is unwise if you consider it as a backup solution. This article will tell you why from 5 respects.

As we all know, the best way to avoid data loss is to make regular backups. For instance, to protect your Outlook mail data, you can back up your Outlook files, such that even if the original files get broken, you can readily recover Outlook email. This is the data backup’s charm.


With the popularization of RAID technology, many people have a misconception in their minds. Due to data redundancy, they think that RAID can be used directly as a backup strategy. However, the truth is that redundancy isn’t backups. Here we will tell you the concrete reasons from the following facets

1. RAID Controller Failures

When it comes to RAID data losses, RAID controller failures must be taken into account. It is responsible for managing all drives in the array. Therefore, once it fails, data in the array will be lost. Then you have to go for data recovery. As a rule, two recovery options are available in this case. One is to buy exactly the same controller and try to recover hard drive array in its original configuration. The other one is to retrieve the array parameters via recovery software. But both of them will cost much time, money and energy. So if you have already held backups, recovery will be much more convenient and faster.

2. User Mistakes

It is inevitable that users can make mistakes when handling data. Some of these human errors can lead to RAID data loss. The most common mistake is accidental deletion. When you mistakenly delete a file from a RAID system, the consequence is totally equal to deleting from a hard drive. If you have no backups in place, you still should call in data recovery service to get back the deleted files. And the recovery procedure for RAID failures will be much more challenging and complex.

3. Unanticipated Disasters

As you know, the RAID is only a server system which is made up by several hard drives. Therefore, although you’ve protected it by various measures, you cannot avoid the unexpected disasters, such as flood, fire, etc. Any of these disasters can destroy the hard drives in the arrays as well as the internal data. Without any doubts, in such a scenario, the single way to recover the lost data is by up-to-date offsite backups.

4. Data Theft Alike

Nowadays, data theft is not uncommon. No matter flash drive sticks, external hard drives, SD cards, or RAID, all of them can be stolen. Perhaps you can use the advanced encryption to lock down your data. But it cannot help you get back your data. In such a case, provided that you have a current backup, the recovery will be easier. Apart from theft, hacking, viruses and malware are also potential risks to your data in the array.

5. Multiple Hard Drive Failures

You may have known that many RAID systems can tolerate disk failures. But you should also know that the number of failed disks is limited. For example, RAID 5 can only accept a single drive failure. If one more drive fails simultaneously, the entire array will break down. Or in another instance of RAID 6, it can only protect your data against up to two drive failures. Thus, don’t completely rely on data redundancy. This advantage can vanish at any time.

Author Introduction:

Shirley Zhang is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including repair SQL data corruption and outlook repair software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com

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