The most devastating computer failure for most dental offices would be a hard drive failure of the server. If the hard drive failed or was damaged it is possible to loose data and it could take days to get your computer system running properly again. There are many safeguards designed to prevent this and to help you recover data. However one of the best is to have a mirrored RAID (random array of inexpensive disks) hard drive installed on the server.
A mirrored hard drive automatically copies all data to two hard drives simultaneously. In that way the office has an up to the second back up copy of everything. In the event of a drive failure it is possible to keep everything running without even a moment’s confusion. A simple mirror device using two drives is called RAID 1.
Commonly vendors will propose a more complex three drive system called RAID 5, which requires the use of costly SCSI based drives. This system is even better than RAID 1, but it is A LOT more money. Like five times more; but it isn’t five times better.
The vast majority of dental offices should have a RAID 1, but do not need to spend the extra money on a SCSI Raid 5.