The first time you encounter them, RAIDs can seem a bit overwhelming, from having to buy two or more HDDs to figuring out the types 1 or 5 or 0+1, and then people start asking about stripe sizing.   AnandTech can give you some help figuring it all out, and get you started on building your own array, be it for safety, speed, or a bit of both.
“With the increased use of computers in the daily lives of people worldwide, the dollar value of data stored on the average computer has steadily increased. Even as MTBF figures have moved from 8000 hours in the 1980s (example: MiniScribe M2006) to the current levels of over 750,000 hours (Seagate 7200.11 series drives), this increase in data value has offset the relative decrease of hard drive failures. The increase in the value of data, and the general unwillingness of most casual users to back up their hard drive contents on a regular basis, has put increasing focus on technologies which can help users to survive a hard drive failure. RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) is one of these technologies.”

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