Using a Hard Drive Array
Hard drive arrays are ideal for those who require a larger amount of data storage than the average user. They accommodate multiple drives, and allow the user to switch between them, accessing each one’s data or adding new files as needed. They even offer multiple options for backing up data in the event of a drive failure or other data loss. Using external hard drive enclosures also adds the benefit of not needing to install more drives inside a PC tower.
Connecting and Installing a Hard Drive Array
Connecting a hard drive array is an easy process since most models connect via USB. They support USB 3.0 and 3.1, delivering rapid transfer speeds, so that you can save and retrieve files quickly. Many are also compatible with Thunderbolt connections and daisy chaining to connect multiple arrays and further expand storage space. Hard drive racks and other hard drive array accessories such as storage and transport cases are available to keep your RAID arrays safe.
Choosing a RAID Configuration
There are multiple RAID types to consider, depending on your needs. RAID 0 uses striping to distribute files across multiple drives, allowing for fast data access while reducing the load on each individual drive. Another option is RAID 1, which creates duplicates of all files added to one drive on another drive in the same array. It’s recommended that each drive in an enclosure or dock be the same type and model to ensure compatibility and consistent data striping and mirroring.
Hard Drive Array Applications
Anyone who needs to store and protect a large amount of data will benefit from a hard drive array. Music producers or filmmakers will require vast space not only to accommodate their projects but also to protect against losing valuable work. New data can be added from your main workstation via USB, by inserting an SD card, or by removing a drive from its internal cage and using a USB bridge to connect via a laptop or desktop.
B&H Photo and Video offers arrays from numerous trusted brands, and extra parts such as hard drive trays to keep them in optimal condition.