Today let us give you a very brief introduction on RAID. RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Disks. Its main function is to join multiple storage units together to form a single logical unit. In early days of computing, it was used to store relatively large data onto a single logical unit. For example: there is a need to store a 20mb file whereas a single disk can only hold up to 11mb, then we would combine 2 disks together using RAID to form a larger logical unit which would be able to store such large files. Clearly, we don’t run into such issues very often nowadays but uses of RAID aren’t just limited to extending storage capacity. We can use RAID for performance gain, security and as mentioned earlier — larger capacity in a single logical unit. Since we are interested in performance gain, we will be looking at RAID 0 (Striped).
In RAID 0, two or more physical disks are required which in our case would be — Hard Disks or SSDs. Two disks which are connected in RAID 0 would hold consecutive blocks of data in themselves. To give you a better understanding, let’s have a look at this diagram:
Here, first block of information is stored in first disk whereas second block of the same file is present in Disk two. This pattern of storing information makes reading and writing possible at almost double the speed (Considering the Read/Write speeds of both disks are same). And all this striping of information is managed by the RAID controller and on a higher level, we get a single logical unit:
So as you can see above, a certain level of abstraction is applied at a higher level and you get a single logical unit as if it represent a single Hard Drive. Now, there are multiple ways via which you can create RAID to your System such as:
- Hardware RAID Controllers
- Through BIOS
Since most of you will be looking to install your OS on RAID 0, we rule out the software RAID. I will be helping you with creating a RAID using BIOS RAID as not everyone can afford a dedicated RAID card. The Steps are as follows:
- Firstly, enter your BIOS menu by pressing F1, F2 or Delete key (Depending upon your Motherboard Manufacturer). After that, find the option for RAID controller and Enable it in BIOS. Now Save and Exit BIOS.
- Your system will Restart after that, now press Ctrl + i to enter RAID Utility (It might be different for your manufacturer but it will instruct you to press the desired key to enter RAID Utility). Be swift with the pressing the key.
- Now inside the RAID Utility, select the desired drives, RAID level and name your new logical drive. I would suggest that you let the stripe be at its default value.
- And now, create the RAID Partition!
While you are installing your OS, you have to select the logical unit with RAID 0. This will make your booting and daily operations faster. All the files stores in this partition will be stored in two different Hard Disks and will benefit from the higher speeds.