Apple stopped actively developing AppleRAID in 2009, removing full support for it in Mac OS X 10.11. If your Apple RAID volumes develop problems, you're stuck—unless you transfer them to SoftRAID!
You can use those same volumes with SoftRAID, and transferring is easy.
With SoftRAID You don't even need to copy all the files from one volume to another. You can simply convert your AppleRAID stripe (RAID 0) and mirror (RAID 1) volumes to SoftRAID volumes without losing any of your precious data. Your volumes will be just as fast or faster and you can take full advantage of SoftRAID's renowned speed, reliability and support.
Not only is SoftRAID Lite more reliable than AppleRAID, it is up to 86% faster than AppleRAID too!*
Your data is completely safe when you convert from AppleRAID to SoftRAID and back again
Just download SoftRAID, convert your AppleRAID volumes and use it for 30 days. If after 30 days, you decide not to purchase SoftRAID, you can convert your Stripe (RAID 0) or Mirror (RAID 1) volumes back to AppleRAID and be exactly where you started.
*We measured performance using a 2 disk mirror configuration - SoftRAID mirror volumes read data up to 86% faster than AppleRAID when using SSDs. When measuring speed using 2 HDDs, SoftRAID mirror volumes read data up to 56% faster than AppleRAID.
They are ideal for videographers, editors and recording engineers who need lightning fast scratch disk access.
However with RAID 0 your data is not protected from disk failure. We don't recommend RAID 0 for permanent storage; it's best used for scratch data.
SoftRAID Stripe (RAID 0) volume speeds:
Read: 696 MB/sec
Write: 688 MB/sec
Read: 1,397 MB/sec
Write: 1,379 MB/sec
Read: 1,524 MB/sec
Write: 1,380 MB/sec
Read: 2,438 MB/sec
Write: 2,569 MB/sec
Stripe (RAID 0) volumes will give you the fastest possible read and write performance but they won't protect your data from disk failure. If a disk fails in a stripe volume, you will lose all the files on that volume - although you do get peace of mind in knowing that, in most cases, the SoftRAID Monitor will give you warning if a disk is about to fail.
If you'd prefer to have a setup that's still fast but a little safer, check out other RAID options here.
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.
*The actual performance you measure may be different due to changes in hardware, software, firmware, operating environment or other factors.
With rotating disk drives, the first (or outer) 30-50% of a disk is the fastest part - often 1.5 times the speed at the end of the disk.
With SoftRAID, volumes can use different parts of the same disk, so the first 30-50% of each disk can be used to create a volume of one RAID level, and the remainder of each disk can be used to create a volume with a completely different RAID level—one where speed isn't so important. With SoftRAID, you don't have to use an entire disk for your RAID volume.
For example: to create the fastest scratch volume for video editing, create a RAID 0 volume using just the first 30 - 50% of each disk—giving you a volume which has the highest possible performance for any file on that volume. Because a RAID 0 volume gives you no protection against disk failure, you can use the slower sections of those same disks to create a RAID 1+0 volume (where your data is secured against disk failure). If a disk fails you may lose your scratch data, but the rest of your data will be secure.
You can split your disks up between volumes of any different RAID level as long as you make the fastest one first—SoftRAID will automatically use the fastest parts of your disk for your first volume, going inwards to the slower parts for subsequent volumes.
If you have a 2013 Mac Pro with 6 Thunderbolt ports, SoftRAID allows you to put your disks in different enclosures to maximise connection speed.
Note: Even though other Macs may have 2 Thunderbolt ports, those 2 ports are controlled by only one chip inside your Mac. The 2013 Mac Pro has 3 chips controlling its 6 Thunderbolt ports; each pair of ports share a chip (6 ports: 3 chips). Because of this, getting extra speed is only possible if your two enclosures are plugged into Thunderbolt ports connected to different chips. If your enclosures are plugged into ports that share the same chip, you won't be achieving maximum transfer rates.
If you have created a volume that spans two enclosures, whose Thunderbolt cables are connected to different chips, you'll be creating a volume which takes advantage of that doubled bandwidth—achieving faster speeds than are possible with a single enclosure over a single Thunderbolt cable.
It's like the difference between driving on a two lane highway or a single lane road; you can get more vehicles through per minute if there are two lanes, just as you can get more data through (essentially making data transfer faster) using two Thunderbolt ports (connectd to different chips).
Using two enclosures in this way is just not possible with hardware RAID.
Even if your computer has only two Thunderbolt ports that share a single chip, you can still increase the security of your data by using two enclosures and a mirrored system (RAID 1 or RAID 1+0)
SoftRAID Lite has the same great disk testing and monitoring features as the full version of SoftRAID.
However, SoftRAID Lite is limited to creating and using stripe (RAID 0) and mirror (RAID 1) volumes. You'll need the full version of SoftRAID if you want to create and use RAID 4, RAID 5 and RAID 1+0 volumes.
Unlike the full version of SoftRAID, with SoftRAID Lite you won't get email notifications when there is an error and there is no command line interface. All the other features of SoftRAID Lite are the same as the full version of SoftRAID.
You can find a full side-by-side feature comparison of SoftRAID and SoftRAID Lite here.
You can easily convert an AppleRAID volume to SoftRAID 1+0 and, unlike your original AppleRAID stripe volume, with a RAID 1+0 volume, you won't lose all your files if one of your disks fails. RAID 4 performs best if you are using SSDs (Solid State Disks). RAID 5 is better for HDDS (Hard Disk Drives).
With SoftRAID, you can test a disk before you start using it, monitor it for defects while you use it and protect yourself from disk failure with mirror (RAID 1), RAID 4, RAID 5 or RAID 1+0 volumes. You can even have the SoftRAID Monitor notify you via email whenever there is a problem. Read more about RAID levels here.