Understanding RAID and Backups: They are not the same thing

Though RAID and back-ups can be both useful in protecting businesses from data loss, they are not the same thing nor can they be used interchangeably. Rather, both RAID and backup technology can be used together to protect an organization’s data.

What is RAID?

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. Basically, it’s a system where multiple small (and cheaper) storage disks have been set up in a manner to work together as if they were a larger, more expensive storage disk.

The beauty of a RAID system is since in life bad things happen and disks do fail, a RAID system anticipates that and shares data between multiple disks so that if, and when, one disk fails, the other disks will have already retained the data, resulting in no data loss for you.

You simply replace the failed disk and your work continues with no data loss, no downtime.

Simply put, RAID only guards against disk failure. That’s all. It does not prevent loss due to user error (for example, a user accidentally overwriting or deleting data) or stemming from a ransomware infection. 

This is where backups step in.

What are Backups?

Where RAID gives you protection against disk failure, data backup systems give you protection against data loss due to ransomware, accidental user file deletion and more. 


Back-ups use point-in-time recovery to protect your data. Similar to Apple’s Time Machine technology, back-ups regularly take images of your data and silos those images, protecting them from being overwritten or manipulated by external entities, whether users or malware. Then, should your network be subjected to a ransomware attack and all of your files made inaccessible, you will be able to go back to a date and time before the infection, and restore your network and data to their former healthy state.

Simply said, data back-ups give you the ability to restore your data to a previous state.

RAID + Backup = Data Protection

Now all of that said about how RAID and backup systems are different, coupled together, the two technologies are extremely powerful in protecting your organization from downtime and data loss. Backup systems typically use RAID arrays to store your data and those time-stamped restoration points, giving you the best of two worlds — protection against data loss due to hardware failure and a guard against damage to data caused by user error and malware.

Wrapping Up

Though different technologies, both RAID and backup effectively work together to protect your organization’s network from data loss and downtimes due to hardware, user error and malware.

Contact Us!

Do you have more questions about RAID and backups, or want to talk with someone about safeguarding your business with such technology? Give us a call or click the red button below, fill out the form and send it and we’ll be sure to get back to you right away.

About R.K. Black, Inc.

R.K. Black, Inc. is an Oklahoma City-based, family-owned leading provider of office technology solutions to businesses in Oklahoma and Kansas. We specialize in everything business technology from copier, fax, printer and scanner technology to document management, onsite paper shredding services, VoIP phone systems and managed IT support to video surveillance solutions.

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