SoftRAID protects your data from disk failure

How much will you lose when your hard disk fails?

SoftRAID Lite application icon

Feeling lucky?

When a disk fails, it can be devastating! If you haven't lost anything from a failed disk yet, you probably know someone who has. They lost a huge amount of valuable and unrecoverable data: current and saved work, edited photos and videos that require days or weeks to recreate - if that's even possible. How much money did they spend on data recovery services? It was probably one of those disasters they'll remember for years to come. And it could happen to anyone - even you.

SoftRAID can protect you from this kind of catastrophe.

Some hard disks are more reliable than others.

No make and model of hard disk is perfect. They all fail at some rate. The good ones fail at a rate of about 3% a year, the bad ones fail at 25% a year or more. Even SSDs (Solid State Disks) fail at about the same rate. At SoftRAID, we’ve spent over 1,500 hours testing three popular brands of disks. Most worked fine, but one particular brand and model had a 33% failure rate.

When you buy a disk, how do you know if you're getting one that fails at a 3% rate, a 25% rate, or even higher?

Don't trust your data storage to luck!

SoftRAID Lite application icon

We don't think you should trust to luck when it comes to storage. Even if you only use one disk on your Mac at a time and it's one of the good ones (which fails at a rate of 3% a year), you still have a good chance of experiencing a hard disk failure.

Our calculations show a 25% risk of disk failure within 10 years with a four volume RAID 5. Even if that's not your exact set up, your risk of disk failure is real, and the more disks you have, the higher the risk. Shouldn't you have a little insurance against a disaster which has a 1 in 4 (or more) likelihood of occurring in the next 10 years?
With SoftRAID, you have that insurance.

 

We protect your valuable data in 3 critical ways:

Find out if you have a bad disk before you save precious data to it.

SoftRAID checks your disk before you even start using it, to protect you against using a disk that is faulty, or about to fail.

SoftRAID includes a powerful Certify Disk feature. When you Certify a disk, you write, then read, every sector of the disk - more than once. This is the type of testing which should be done on each disk at the factory - but it isn't.

certifying a disk with softraid

Know when a disk might let you down.

SoftRAID monitor is always watching your disks, and will tell you if a disk is becoming unreliable and when it is predicted to fail. Wouldn't you love advanced warning of a disk failure, so you can plan for a replacement?

When you use SoftRAID, the SoftRAID Monitor keep track of which disks are experiencing errors and logs when those errors occur. This makes it easy to determine which disk is causing you problems.

SoftRAID also looks for wear patterns which indicate that a disk is becoming unreliable. When it sees a disk is becoming less reliable, it warns you.

SoftRAID Monitor warning of disk failure

In our labs, over 50% of the disks that fail are marked as unreliable by the SoftRAID Monitor at least 10 days before they fail completely. Wouldn't you love advanced warning of a disk failure, so you can plan for a replacement?

Keep working normally after a disk fails.

If you use a SoftRAID mirror (RAID 1), RAID 4, RAID 5 or RAID 1+0 volume, you are protected from disk failure. If one of your disks fails, you can keep on working. None of your files will be lost. How great is that?

SoftRAID RAID 1+0 volume with failed disk

If one disk fails, the other ones still have all the data for your volume.

Safety, Speed or the Best of Both?

How safe do you want to be?

Keep data safe

Safe? Safer? Safest? SoftRAID offers different levels of protection to protect you from disk or hardware failure and can be part of a backup strategy to protect your business from theft, fire, flooding and other calamities.

SAFE:

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SoftRAID RAID 4 & 5 Volumes

Protection
from:

DISK FAILURE
 

SoftRAID RAID 5 volumes protect you from disk failure. If a disk in a SoftRAID RAID 5 volume fails, you can keep using the volume normally.

SAFER:

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SoftRAID RAID 1+0 Volumes:

Protection
from:
 

DISK FAILURE
POWER SUPPLY FAILURE
ENCLOSURE FAILURE


SoftRAID RAID 1+0 volumes offer greater protection than RAID 5 volumes. A SoftRAID RAID 1+0 volume with disks in two enclosures protects you from disk failure and power supply, enclosure or cable failures.

SAFEST:

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SoftRAID Mirror (RAID 1) Volumes:

Protection
from:
 
 

DISK FAILURE
POWER SUPPLY FAILURE
ENCLOSURE FAILURE
THEFT OR FIRE


SoftRAID Mirror (RAID 1) volumes provide the greatest level of protection. A 3 disk mirror will continue to work even if 2 of the disks fail. If the disks are in different enclosures, your volume is also protected from power supply, enclosure or cable failures.

Backing Up Off-Site with Mirror Volumes

Mirror disks can also be part of an off-site backup strategy. One or more of the mirror disks can be stored off site and brought in every week, on rotation. When the off-site disk is connected to the mirror volume, it will rebuild quickly using SoftRAID's Fast Mirror Rebuild technology. At the end of the rebuild, the disk can then be stored off site again. How else can you easily maintain an off-site backup of a multi-terabyte volume?

How fast do you want to go?

Fast? Faster? Fastest? With SoftRAID, you can create volumes with different RAID levels depending on speed required. You can use up to 16 disks in a single volume for increased speed, and spread those volumes over two or more enclosures for incredible performance. You can't get this level of flexibility and performance from hardware RAID.

FAST:

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SoftRAID RAID 1+0 Volumes:

4 Disks*


Read: 536 MB/sec
Write: 342 MB/sec

8 Disks*


Read: 904 MB/sec
Write: 629 MB/sec

4 SSDs*


Read: 1,466 MB/sec
Write: 686 MB/sec

8 SSDs*


Read: 2,338 MB/sec
Write: 1,270 MB/sec


While not quite as fast, SoftRAID RAID 1+0 volumes do offer greater protection than RAID 5 volumes. A SoftRAID RAID 1+0 volume with disks in two enclosures protects you from disk failure and power supply, enclosure or cable failures.

FASTER:

 

icon for SoftRAID RAID 5 volume

SoftRAID RAID 4
Volumes:

4 Disks*


Read: 532 MB/sec
Write: 520 MB/sec

8 Disks*


Read: 1189 MB/sec
Write: 1144 MB/sec

4 SSDs*


Read: 1,150 MB/sec
Write: 945 MB/sec

8 SSDs*


Read: 2,255 MB/sec
Write: 1,556 MB/sec

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SoftRAID RAID 5
Volumes:

4 Disks*


Read: 534 MB/sec
Write: 526 MB/sec

8 Disks*


Read: 1,220 MB/sec
Write: 1,158 MB/sec

4 SSDs*


Read: 1,038 MB/sec
Write: 947 MB/sec

8 SSDs*


Read: 2,129 MB/sec
Write: 1,564 MB/sec


SoftRAID RAID 4 and RAID 5 volumes are faster than RAID 1+0 volumes. They are almost as fast as stripe (RAID 0) volumes and have the advantage of protecting you from disk failure. When one of the disks fails in a RAID 4 or RAID 5 volume, you can still keep reading and writing files on that volume, without interruption.

RAID 4 and RAID 5 are ideal for reading and writing large files, particularly RAID 4 which is up to 20% faster when using SSDs. They are also good for reading small files which are frequently accessed. They are not a good choice if you need to write a lot of small files as fast as possible - RAID 1+0 is better for this.

FASTEST:

icon for SoftRAID RAID 1+0 volume

SoftRAID Stripe (RAID 0) Volumes:

4 Disks*


Read: 696 MB/sec
Write: 688 MB/sec

8 Disks*


Read: 1,397 MB/sec
Write: 1,379 MB/sec

4 SSDs*


Read: 1,524 MB/sec
Write: 1,380 MB/sec

8 SSDs*


Read: 2,438 MB/sec
Write: 2,569 MB/sec


Stripe (RAID 0) volumes give you the fastest possible read and write performance but have no protection from disk failure. If a disk fails in a stripe volume, you will lose all the files on that volume.
*The actual performance you measure may be different due to changes in hardware, software, firmware, operating environment or other factors.

WANT TO GO EVEN FASTER?

For even more performance just add more disks. Create a volume over two or more disks. Unlike hardware RAID, a SoftRAID volume can be spread over two or more disks, so you can use the fastest part of each disk (the first 25%-30%) for data you need to access quickly. Slower sections of the disk can be used to create other volumes, where speed isn't such an issue.

Increase your volume's connection speed. Not only can your SoftRAID volume be spread over several disks but you can put those disks in different enclosures to maximise connection speed. If you put half your volume's disks in one Thunderbolt enclosure and the other half in a second enclosure connected to a different Thunderbolt port, you'll be creating a volume which uses the bandwidth of two Thunderbolt connections, so it goes faster than a volume connected to a single Thunderbolt cable. That's just not possible with hardware RAID.

How we measured performance
The read and write performance displayed above was measured using AJA System Test running on a 2013 MacPro with a 3.5 GHz six core processor and 16 GB of RAM. For HDD tests, the Mac was connected to 1 (for "4 Disks") or 2 (for "8 Disks") OWC ThunderBay 4 enclosures containing Toshiba 3 TB hard disks. For SSD tests, the Mac was connected to 1 (for "4 SSDs") or 2 (for "8 SSDs") OWC ThunderBay mini enclosures containing 960 GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro solid state disks. All RAID 0 and RAID 1+0 volumes were tested with a stripe unit size of 64 KB.

Want both speed and safety?

If you’re happy to compromise a little on each, you can have a system that is both fast and safe.

icon for SoftRAID RAID 1+0 volume

SAFER & FAST:

SoftRAID RAID 1+0 Volumes:

SoftRAID RAID 1+0 volumes offer greater protection than RAID 5 volumes. A SoftRAID RAID 1+0 volume with disks in two enclosures protects you from disk failure and power supply, enclosure or cable failures.

SoftRAID RAID 1+0 volumes are also fast and allow you to use up to 16 disks to increase performance while maintaining the safety that SoftRAID RAID 1+0 volumes offer - something that hardware RAID solutions don't allow.

icon for SoftRAID RAID 5 volume

FASTER & SAFE:

SoftRAID RAID 5 Volumes:

SoftRAID RAID 5 volumes are faster than RAID 1+0 volumes and almost as fast as stripe (RAID 0) volumes (the fastest SoftRAID solution). They also protect you from disk failure. If a disk in a SoftRAID RAID 5 volume fails, you can keep using the volume normally.

SoftRAID RAID 5 volumes are ideal for reading and writing large files. They are also good for small files which are frequently read but infrequently written.
Expand the 'How fast do you want to go?' section above to see performance details for SoftRAID RAID 5 and 1+0 Volumes.

Find the set up that's right for you.

Expand the sections above to learn about the different levels of protection and how to use different set ups for even more flexibility and performance. You can also read in more detail about the different RAID levels here

On the RAID LEVELS page, you'll also find recommendations for which set up to use based on what you are using your storage for - whether you're a video editor, photographer, architect, designer, musician, or a business/individual with a lot of crucially important data.

SoftRAID beats out hardware RAID solutions.

You've probably heard or read about the advantages of a hardware RAID set-up. Now find out how SoftRAID beats out most hardware RAID solutions and can save you hundreds of $$$...

SAFETY:

With software RAID your data can be split across different enclosures for complete redundancy - one enclosure can completely stop working and your data is still ok. With hardware RAID, if the enclosure fails, you can lose all your data. With cheaper hardware RAID you can also lose data if there’s a power outage.

SoftRAID Monitor warning of disk failure

SPEED:

Think hardware raid is always faster? SoftRAID provides super fast read and write speeds which can match more expensive hardware RAID solutions. To maximize read/write speeds, SoftRAID harnesses the power of your computer’s powerful CPU, but only for mere microseconds at a time so other running applications aren’t impacted. Even if your hardware RAID box controller chip was top of the line when you bought it, it can quickly become out of date as chip speeds improve, and you won’t be able to swap it out for a new one; with software RAID you can easily take advantage of improvements in chip technology by moving your RAID array to a new computer with a newer and faster CPU.

COST:

Many people wrongly view software RAID as a cheap solution that’s not powerful, even though it can compete on speed and outperform on safety when compared with hardware RAID. In fact, expensive hardware RAID solutions are not automatically superior (especially since the chip in even fairly low end laptops is usually more powerful as the chip in an expensive hardware RAID controller). A statistic that may well surprise you is that a majority of companies who spend over $10,000 on RAID solutions choose software RAID because of its flexibility and value. Those companies have already shown where their confidence lies.

Click here to read more about the benefits of using software RAID compared to hardware RAID


Your disks are constantly checked

The SoftRAID Monitor is always watching your disks and volumes

The SoftRAID Monitor is always running and visible in the menu bar whenever you have SoftRAID Lite installed. It is constantly checking your disks for errors and can warn you even before your disk fails.

SoftRAID Monitor in menu bar

You can even use the SoftRAID Monitor to quickly check the SoftRAID log or launch the SoftRAID application.

Download SoftRAID or SoftRAID Lite now for a FREE TRIAL!

Download SoftRAID now and try it for free for 30 days. You can create new volumes with any RAID level SoftRAID supports, or convert your existing AppleRAID stripe (RAID 0) or mirror (RAID 1) volumes.

If, after 30 days, you decide not to use SoftRAID, you can convert your stripe (RAID 0) and mirror (RAID 1) volumes to AppleRAID (or back to AppleRAID if that's what you started with) and not lose any of your files. However you will lose all of SoftRAID's great features and, if you had any other RAID level, you will lose any disk protection you had.

Outstanding RAID software for Mac OS since 1996

We have been creating RAID software for Mac OS since 1996. We started on Mac OS 7. In fact, our team wrote the original version of AppleRAID.

We shipped the first version of SoftRAID for Mac OS X over 15 years ago and have been actively developing SoftRAID and supporting Mac OS X ever since. Our current version includes many features you won’t find on any other RAID product.

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Version 1.0
1996
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Version 2.0
1998
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Version 3.0
2003
 
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Version 4.0
2010
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Version 5.0
2014
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Version 5.5
2016

Don't just take our word for it. Read what our customers have said about SoftRAID version 5.