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Server-based RAID vs. controller-based RAID

SAN expert Greg Schulz discusses the difference between server-based RAID and controller-based RAID.

What is the difference between server-based RAID and controller-based RAID?
In general, server-based RAID can have either software-based or operating system-based functionality. Software-based RAID is often implemented using a volume manager. RAID can be implemented on a server using a hardware adapter card equipped with RAID functionality to offload the server of RAID processing. RAID is also commonly implemented in a storage system via a storage controller, which is also known as a RAID controller.

The primary difference between server-based RAID and controller-based RAID is where the RAID functionally is performed...

and implemented.

Sometimes server-based hardware RAID implementations are referred to as controller-based as opposed to software-based RAID. Adding to the confusion is that controller-based RAID is also used referring to RAID functionality being implemented in a storage system via a combination of hardware, software and firmware or microcode.

 

This was last published in April 2006

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