The simplest way to configure a disk drive array is to combine multiple disks together so that they look like a single logical drive to the system. This technique can be used where disk space is at a premium and there are many drives of varying capacities to be used. The total capacity is the sum of all the drives, and the performance is equal to the performance of the drive that the controller is accessing. If a single disk fails the entire array goes offline. The data becomes unrecoverable even though data files may be intact on the remaining drives. This most basic RAID configuration is called Just a Bunch of Disks (JBOD), and is supported by virtually every RAID controller including the FastTrak SX4.

A way to increase performance is to configure the controller so that it stores data in stripes across two or more drives. With data split up across the drives, reads and writes can occur faster because the controller can read from and write to multiple drives at once. Under certain ideal conditions, the reading and writing can occur at a speed proportional to the number of drives in the array. For example, with two drives, one can achieve twice the performance of a single drive under certain conditions. With a striped array, the total capacity is the capacity of the smallest drive times the number of drives. For example, two striped 80GB drives form a single, faster 160GB drive. A major drawback of striping is that a single drive failure causes total data loss. The remaining drives only contain pieces of files, and there is no software with the controller to recover even the pieces. The striped drive configuration is called RAID-0 (pronounced raid zero).

One way to increase reliability is to configure the controller so that it mirrors data to two or more drives to make a single logical drive with data redundancy. If one physical drive fails, a perfect mirror of the data will be on the surviving physical drives, and you can continue using the data without interruption. After a replacement is drive is installed, the array can be rebuilt by the controller, which means copying the data from the surviving drives onto the replacement drive. Because data is written to and read from synchronously, the performance is no faster than the slowest drive in the array. The total amount of storage available in a mirrored array will be limited to the capacity of the smallest drive, regardless of how many drives are mirrored. Mirrored drives are said to be in a RAID-1 (pronounced raid one) configuration.