George Ou has recently taken up the torch of demystifying RAID for average users so they can reap the benefits. Unfortunately for George, I agree with his detractors that say RAID isn’t going to fly in the home. Honestly, RAID makes even geek heads spin sometimes, including my own, and managing one’s RAID setup is really up there with changing your own oil: not everyone does it or wants to do it. In fact, most average people really couldn’t give a fuck about RAID; they just want to backup their data.
I think George should stick to the easy things when it comes to consumer-level storage. Educate people about regular backups using one of two methods: drag-n-drop or NT Backup (or both!). And for media, educate people to use one of four options: external hard disk, USB key (or two), cd burning, or dvd burning. Drag-n-dropping data is natural, and people just have to think about what they would want backed up, drag it over (or burn it), and set it aside in a safe place. If people don’t understand or know what they all need, use NT Backup and in the event of a disaster (on consumer levels, i.e. a hard disk gone bad) have that on hand for techies to restore.
That really should be the extent of trying to educate the masses. Granted, it is not pretty or scalable, but it gets the job done and goes only as far as most consumers really care to go. (Honestly, I’m not sure who George’s audience is, technically proficient people who already know this stuff or technically inproficient people who shouldn’t be bothered with RAID…either way, he’s seeming a bit lost on this effort.)