Octave RAID & NAS

Solutions. Not Products.

Expertise. Not Hype.

Rationales. Not Ideologies.

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Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID)

Since 1996, we've been offering RAID as part of our comprehensive solutions in disaster planning and recovery. In the event of a hard drive failure, RAID systems afford you some extra peace-of-mind and recovery options, when properly implemented.

RAID is a supplement to, not a replacement for a well-designed backup strategy. RAID actually adds to the complexity of installation, and on-going operations. Mostly, it creates a much higher demand on compatibility. A RAID system does NOT provide absolute fool-proof protection, contrary to popular believes. It simply provides an extra layer of safety net against a specific form of risk ― namely, single hard disk failure, which happens to be the most common hardware failure.

Left: Vicky removing a drive from Promise RAID hot-swap chassis while SBS is running.

Common risk factors not mitigated by RAID include:
  • RAID controller failure
  • other system hardware failure: motherboard, memory, CPU, etc.
  • multiple-drive failure
  • power supply unit glitch/failure
  • building power glitch/failure
  • electro-static discharge issues
  • ventilation problems
  • lightening damage
  • software corruption
  • software bugs
  • human sabotage
  • malware attack/infection
  • human errors
  • equipment theft
  • natural disasters: flood, fire, etc.

We offer custom-built RAID 0, 1, 1+0, and 5 subsystems, in both internal host-based adapters + drives, and external self-contained units with SCSI interface. External units come standard with hot-swappable carriers and lockable cabinet. Internal RAID are available with optional hot-swappable carriers and lock mechanism. We also offer software RAID solutions.

  RAID 0
parity ECC
Read Performance Improved Potential boost None
Write Performance Improved Slight Penalty! Moderate Penalty!
Redundancy Much Higher Risk! Slight Improvement Big Improvement
Cost Low Moderate High
Wasted Disk Space None 50% 33% to 20%
Recovery Features Big Hindrance! Good Excellent

RAIDs Compared. Against baseline of single standard hard drive.

To RAID or not to RAID (and which RAID) is a very complex but important question, which warrants in-depth examination. The goal is to minimize overall cost of operations. It is worth noting that majority of small business sites with RAID ended up with a net loss (rather than net savings) due to misunderstanding, flawed implementation, and lack of recovery strategy and procedures.

Network-Attached Storage (NAS)

Our Poor Man's Server (PMS) series are essentially high-function custom NASs. The latest version is PMS 4.3, which is based on Windows 2000 Professional. Bravo support for all previous PMS 3.x versions (Win98-based) ceased as of August 2005.

We also offer SOHO NAS solutions from Maxtor, Snap Appliances and Iomega. We no longer offer custom-built NAS appliances based on Promise chassis and interfaces.

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