Fault-Tolerance/Redundancy of data and high speed data access are essential requirements in many of today’s businesses. Using dynamic disks in Windows 2003 enables the use of Volume Sets. A volume consists of a part or parts of one or more physical disks grouped in either a simple, spanned, mirrored, striped, or RAID-5 configuration.
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Simple, Spanned, RAID-0 (Disk Striping) – Not-Fault Tolerant -Supported in Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003.
RAID-1 (Disk Mirroring), RAID-5 (Disk Striping with Parity) – These are Fault Tolerant – only supported in the Windows Server 2003 Family.
Striping is designed solely to improve the speed of read & write access to data. Striping improves response time as each drive in the set is performing fewer operations and thus the time required to deliver the data is reduced.
Spanned Volumes are designed solely to use up available space in nooks and crannies of a disk array.
Raid-5 provides fault tolerance and an improved speed of access at the cost of drive space. (An entire RAID-5 array can be mirrored, too).