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From Wikipedia

Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks, commonly referred to as RAID, is a technology that supports the integrated use of two or more hard drives for the purposes of achieving greater performance, reliability through redundancy, and larger disk volume sizes through aggregation.

There are three key concepts in RAID: mirroring, the copying of data to multiple disks; striping, the splitting of data across multiple disks; and error correction, where redundant data is stored to allow problems to be detected and fixed (known as fault tolerance). RAID systems can be designed to keep working during failure - disks can be hot swapped and data recovered automatically while the system keeps running. Other systems have to be shut down while the data is recovered. RAID is often used in systems where it is important that the system keeps running as much as possible.

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