The very first thing you need to ask yourself is why you want to use RAID. If you don't have a clear understanding of why you need it, then it's probably best avoided, IMHO.
You can use RAID to store any kind of files that an ordinary disk can. But some RAID organizations are more prone to failures, particularly with ordinary disk drives not designed for use with RAID. And doing it right means taking extra time to understand, configure and maintain it.
Thanks that is a very honest answer. I largely wanted to use it for an increase in speed. But I think I will do more research too. I have read the Tom's Hardware RAID Faq and the Wiki article on RAID and the different levels. I do know the drives I want to use are used by people in RAID as well though. (Caviar Black 64MB Cache 1TB SATA III)
I do know the drives I want to use are used by people in RAID as well though. (Caviar Black 64MB Cache 1TB SATA III)
These drives will work, but because they don't have TLER (Time-Limited Error Recovery) they have a greater potential for timeouts which causes the RAID controller to declare them as dead when they're really not. They work fine in RAID for a lot of people, but this is something you should be aware of so you can decide if it's something you want to deal with. The alternative is to get a RAID-ready drive, but those are typically more expensive.
Its been awhile since I've been there but Storagereview has lots of info on RAID and drives. They have a good tutorial on how the different raid versions work. I can't find it, but perhaps this will help.
I've spent a couple hours on this today as I had most of the day off. I think at the scale I am needing currently RAID likely isn't necessary. Apart from general storage for myself I have been doing a large amount of geostatistical analysis at work and I think in the future a RAID array could help with that as the data starts to pile up. Right now though I think for general storage and backup I can survive fine with just multiple drives.
Thanks for the information. I am honestly glad someone told me to slow down a bit on this.