What is RAID technology? Why would this technology benefit your retail business?
This article aims to make retailers aware of what RAID technology does and how this is important for all retailers regardless of the number of sites or tills they have. Whether you’re a single till site or have multiple tills, RAID technology can benefit your retail business.
First of all RAID is an abbreviation for Redundant Array of Inexpensive/Independent Disks (Hopefully we’ve not lost you at this point but if you do have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us). It is most commonly used for additional data protection in many data storage environments including your retail Epos system. This technology aims to increase performance and reliability of data storage by using two disk drives that mirror one another, where one drive is active and the other is acting as a mirror for the data that is written to the active drive. So if one goes down the other one boots in to respond gracefully to the unexpected hardware failure.
It is important to understand that with the growing trend to use SSDs because of their advantages in the retail sector that both SSDs and HDDs can be used for this technology. Hopefully you’re still interested but if you have any queries about the different types of drives then RMS will be happy to answer them. Examples of epos terminals that can use raid include the Poseo 5200.
RAID storage uses multiple disks in order to provide fault tolerance, to improve overall performance, and to increase storage capacity in an epos system. This is different from previous, older storage techniques that have only a single disk drive to store data, leaving businesses at risk of a permanent loss of data in the event of downtime.
RAID works by mirroring the data between two disks, aiming to ensure that if one disk fails the data is backed-up on the other disk. Having a second disk in parallel with another disk limits data loss caused by a physical disk failure by rebuilding missing data from the remaining physical disks. As a retailer you’ll be fully aware of the worries associated with your epos machine failing. Using RAID attempts to reassure you that your data is safe and that your trading will not be affected by the downtime associated with disk failure.
By using RAID when you have a drive failure, you simply replace the failed drive with the mirroring disk, and RAID will copy the image of the other drive to the new one. This makes RAID a very useful tool for data protection against hardware failure in the retail industry, where any downtime is effectively an immediate loss of potential earnings.
It is still important to have a good data backup solution in place for data retention and security. How often and regularly are you backing up your data? Could you cope with permanently losing that data? Furthermore as a retailer and particularly a single till store do you have an onsite warranty for your epos equipment? If so do you know what it covers?
Not having a disaster recovery procedure in place can be extremely damaging to the profits of all retailers. But this can be especially detrimental for single till retailers or even multi-store, multi-till sites that don’t have the redundancy of additional tills to fall back on.
Using technology such as RAID for disaster recovery can indirectly create the opportunities for greater profit levels amongst retailers. RAID can save time, money, and keep your customers and employees happy. If a drive was to fail and there wasn’t a disaster recovery procedure then everything comes to a standstill where cashiers cannot serve customers, costing the retailer valuable sales. Having disaster recovery technology implemented acts as an insurance policy that aims to ensure that the retailer is still able to meet the continued demands of their customer base as well as protecting critical data from being lost. The Posiflex XT4015 is a perfect example of an efficient Epos system that uses RAID functionality.
Most retailers recognise the importance of disaster recovery but how many have a plan in place? Often it is too late before a decision to implement a recovery plan is taken and retailers are left with a loss of earnings and data.
Are your providers talking to you about disaster recovery? Want more information about what can be done for you? Don’t hesitate to contact RMS.
If you’re not routinely backing up your data or don’t have an onsite warranty for your Epos equipment then a disk failure could be an absolute catastrophe for your retail enterprise. But if you are confronted by a drive failure with RAID technology implemented the epos system will simply use the mirroring drive for data recovery and continue the operation. In order to continue with the same level of data security all you’ll need to do is replace the obsolete drive to return your Epos system to the same level of resiliency.
Managing fault tolerance is likely to be an important objective of any retailers’ plans to optimise their business. Nonetheless there are other advantages of using RAID technology as well such as improved overall system performance by speeding up read/write tasks. The advantages over conventional disk storage devices include superior performance, improved resiliency and lower costs.
To conclude, RAID technology gives you peace of mind that your data is stored as safely as possible by not putting all of your data on one disk. At RMS we are aware of how seriously you approach your business and we want you to understand the options that are available to protect you from any downtime. Using RAID technology combined with routinely backing up data and a thorough onsite warranty can aim to prevent you from losing any of your vital user data and assist you with running your business to meet your customers’ needs as efficiently as possible. Although RAID contributes to keeping your retail business running in the event of a drive failure it should not be confused with data backup. At RMS we would always advise having a separate procedure in place for backup and disaster recovery.
For more information on disaster recovery procedures and onsite warranties, please don’t hesitate to contact RMS.