Technically RAID 0 is an incorrect term as there is no use of redundancy at all. RAID 0 is often called striped array, open which the data is striped across the set of two or more hard disk, at a block level. This allows volumes of a size much larger than the capacity of a single hard disk drive to be created. This lack of fault tolerance in a RAID 0 array can cause issues for data recovery, increasing the importance of a robust backup strategy.
A RAID 0 array is most suited to an environment which requires high data transfer speeds, particularly for sequential files access, such as streaming servers. This does however, come at a cost to reliability as a fault on any single hard disk will cause the RAID array to fail.
When Speed is Required
The main selling point for a RAID 0 array, besides increased volume capacity, is the increased data transfer speeds which can be achieved by striping the data across a set of hard disk drives. The achievable speed is also determined by the data stripe length over which the user rarely has any control.
Another factor which determines the speed of data read and write access is the seek time of the drives, particularly if only a pair of drives are used in the array. The impact of the hard disk seek time can be reduced by increasing the number of hard disks used in the array, especially when writing data to the drives, as the buffer on each drive is less likely to be full.
Lack of Fault Tolerance
The lack of fault tolerance with a RAID 0 architecture is its major drawback, as any failure of a drive, even just a single bad sector, can have an immediate effect on the RAID and the data stored on it. If a drive fails, the only available solution to gain access to the files is through data recovery, which is why a robust backup strategy should be used, to obviate any loss of data.
Data Recovery from RAID 0
The failure of a RAID 0 array is usually the result of at least one drive failing, which will immediately cause any volumes contained on it to become inaccessible. As the drives used in a RAID 0 array are often purchased at the same time from the same supplier, there is an increase chance of another drive also failing shortly after the first one. This is because, when a set of drives operate within the same environment continually, they tend to deteriorate at a similar rate, often filling the spare area of the drive at similar times.
You should therefore seek professional data recovery help from a company such as DiskEng, who can minimise the risks another failure could have if the hard disk drives are not handled correctly. At DiskEng we will secure the raw data from each drive to our servers to ensure that any later failure will not result in further data loss. It is important to understand that if any drive suffers a catastrophic failure, causing large areas of the disk to be unrecoverable, it may result in a raw data trawl for known files types being the only solution, which can only recover small files, without any file names.