What is RAID Storage? And How it Can Help Save Your Footage!


RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) storage combines multiple disk drives into a single unit to improve data redundancy, performance, or both. For videographers and filmmakers, RAID is a good storage option, as it offers faster data transfer rates for editing large video files and safeguards against data loss due to drive failure.

You can use RAID systems to your benefit in several ways, depending on whether you need more storage, speed, or security. It depends on the type of RAID configuration you choose.

How Does RAID Work?

RAID works by placing data on multiple disks in different ways, known as RAID levels. Each level provides a different balance of performance, data availability, and storage capacity. The most common RAID levels are:

RAID 0 (Striping): This level splits data evenly across two or more disks without parity information for redundancy. While it offers high performance and increased storage capacity, all data in the array is lost if one disk fails.

RAID 1 (Mirroring): Data is copied identically from one disk to another, creating a mirrored set. It offers redundancy in case of disk failure but requires twice the storage capacity for the data.

RAID 5 (Striping with Parity): This level distributes parity and data across three or more disks. It balances increased capacity, improved performance, and data protection. If a single disk fails, the data can be reconstructed from the remaining disks using the parity information.

RAID 6 (Striping with Double Parity): Similar to RAID 5, but it uses two parity blocks instead of one. It can withstand the failure of two disks.

RAID 10 (1+0): This combines the features of RAID 1 and RAID 0, offering mirroring and striping. It provides high performance and redundancy but requires at least four disks.

How Is RAID Useful for Videographers and Filmmakers?

RAID storage is particularly beneficial for videographers and filmmakers due to the high data demands of video production. Here’s how RAID can be useful:

Speed and Efficiency: RAID can significantly increase the speed of data reads and writes, which is crucial for editing large video files. RAID 0, for instance, can enhance the performance by splitting data across disks, allowing faster access and processing of video files.

Data Protection: Videography involves large amounts of data that can be catastrophic if lost. RAID levels like RAID 1, 5, and 6 offer redundancy, ensuring that the data can be recovered even if one (or two, in the case of RAID 6) disks fail, minimizing the risk of data loss.

Increased Storage: RAID can combine multiple drives into a larger, unified storage pool, providing the necessary capacity for extensive video libraries. So you can get room for those huge 4K, 6K, and 12K files.

Workflow Efficiency: A RAID setup can facilitate a more efficient workflow for video production. For instance, one can use a RAID array for active projects for fast access and editing, while another could be used for backup and archiving purposes.

Summing Up

RAID is a must-have for any videographer who requires robust, reliable storage solutions. RAID storage offers speed, capacity, and data protection who capture lots of data (and who doesn’t?).

I choose to back up all my content (which is on internal discs and external hard drives) online. I keep an encrypted external hard drive set up with RAID1, on which I back up all my most important stuff for easy access. That way, I’ll still have access should someone break in and steal my computer and external hard drives or should one drive fail.

Up Next: In-Depth Guide To Memory Cards And SSDs For Video Recording


  • Jan Sørup

    Jan Sørup is a indie filmmaker, videographer and photographer from Denmark. He owns filmdaft.com and the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.

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