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RAID configuration of storage arrays is fairly ubiquitous nowadays, and many IT professionals have a conceptual awareness of how RAID provides redundancy and thus protects against data loss when one or more disks in an array should fail. However, few people know exactly how this redundancy works on the level of bits and bytes... This paper reveals the inner workings of RAID arrays, and discovers that the theoretical underpinnings lean heavily upon the work of a 19th century flamboyant French algebraist. Eschewing mathematical formalism, the paper explains concepts and highlights them with simple examples. As a practical application, the paper shows how a RAID controller algorithm can be implemented in Base SAS.
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