We've been receiving great reviews for SoftRAID for over 15 years. Read some of the reasons why industry reviewers love SoftRAID so much.
Efren Morales praises SoftRAID in Spanish language tech site "hardwareviews.com". Here are extracts from his article, translated into English (apologies for any translation issues):
While it is true there are already many and varied options for the management of hard disks (HDD) or solid state drives (SSD), these are likely to be oriented to the expert user with greater knowledge of how open and modify each disk, volume and partition. Not with SoftRAID which allows you to perform many expert functions automatically and, in other cases, with (only) a couple of clicks..so you can have a RAID 1 ready in a few clicks, and create a more complex setup within minutes.
...the first advantage we see immediately is the ease of use...with...the software utility called SoftRAID Easy Setup, whose name says it all: Easy to set up.
SoftRAID enters one of the complex markets in providing data management without risks for its clients, and it does it in a practical way and with friendly interface. Because of all the data that a photographic, design or architecture studio handles, having a RAID system is of paramount importance...[SoftRAID] allows you to securely protect your files through the implementation of RAID [volumes] on your disks in a practical, fast and smooth way.
SoftRAID 5.6 can be used by an expert user or a basic user. Its friendly interface allows you to perform straightforward steps, from the installation to the RAID [level] you want.
Read Efren Morales full article in its original Spanish: Review – SoftRAID Versión 5.6 de OWC Holdings
Larry Jordan reviewed SoftRAID along with OWC's ThunderBay 4 mini. Here's what he has to say about SoftRAID:
In the past, hardware RAID controllers offered the fastest performance. However, in my testing and daily work, I’ve NOT seen a significant slowdown when using SoftRAID. Plus, I enjoy the drive monitoring, RAID format control and system utilities provided by SoftRAID.
SoftRAID support is handled by Mark James and I just can’t say enough good things about him. He is knowledgeable, approachable, and, seemingly, never sleeps. I have also spoken many times with Tim Standing, CTO for SoftRAID. He, too, is good folks. I am pleased to use their products.
Read Larry Jordan's full article: Product Review: OWC ThunderBay 4 mini (SSD RAID)
Rob Lim of Photography Concentrate is a fan of SoftRAID, as you can see:
A Must-Have Disk Utility for Mac
One of my favourite utility programs for Mac... SoftRAID is basically a disk utility program that allows you to connect multiple hard drives together to act as one big hard drive. SoftRAID also has awesome features for testing disks before use, drive monitoring, and email notification of drive failure.
Iain Anderson of Mac Pro Video recommends SoftRAID:
SoftRAID does what it claims: it provides full-speed RAID 5 at, or near, the speed of hardware RAID. It’s easy to use, capable, and is more flexible and easier to use than a hardware RAID.
It’s your call: cheaper hardware, more easily managed failure recovery and greater flexibility with SoftRAID, or a self-contained hardware RAID. But so far? The Thunderbay hardware has been reliable and fast, and SoftRAID gives it RAID 5. Recommended.
Mac Pro Video
Tom Nelson (macs.About.com) recommends SoftRAID:
I’ve used the full version of SoftRAID in the past on our own office servers, so I'm familiar with the app and how easy it is to use for creating and managing RAID arrays on Macs.
If your Mac makes use of RAID arrays that you created with Disk Utility, I highly recommend SoftRAID Lite as a replacement. It will not only take care of your basic RAID creation and management needs, it goes well beyond what Disk Utility could ever do for you.
Trevor M. Carlee of POST Magazine writes:
...I realized I forgot to install the $179 SoftRAID software that essentially enables the RAID to its fullest potential. Once I installed it, I was able to transfer 123.47GBs of music libraries in three minutes from my Mac SSD to the ThunderBay. Now that’s speed I can brag about!
Trevor M. Carlee
If you have an Apple computer with Thunderbolt and you’re looking for large capacity, blazing fast, external storage then definitely check out OWCs Thunderbays and SoftRAID.
I’ve reviewed SoftRAID in the past and like it a lot. I’m using it on all my RAID 5 devices. It is a software utility and driver that configures RAID systems without the laborious formatting delays required by hardware RAID systems. It adds a bit more to the price, but I believe the configuration flexibility, error checking, and utilities it provides are worth it.
Edit Smarter with Larry Jordan
SoftRAID has long been a favorite of mine for creating software-based RAIDs, not only because of the ease with which it creates large volumes but because of its feature set. Among its most useful features is drive monitoring and its ability to predict imminent drive failures. Via SoftRAID, users can also initialize disks and set the volume's RAID level (RAID 0, 1 or 4) depending on the speed and data protection their project requires. And SoftRAID can further expand reliability for a RAID 1 as more secondary drives are added. OWC was wise to use this software as the basis for ThunderBay.
Creative Planet Network
Keeping a close eye on your drives is essential if you do not want to be taken by surprise by a disk failure. SoftRAID is an easy to use yet powerful app that can perform disk tests and point out the ones that have errors. In addition, you can use the app to quickly create and validate RAID volumes.
In short…this is a terrific Thunderbolt solution for your large project, or large format project needs. Does great with lots of footage, handles 4K footage with ease. Copying over data is lightning fast, and it’s whisper silent. My only regret is that I needed to return the unit when testing was concluded. But I’m sure I’ll be buying a unit when I get a large enough project that requires it. By then I might even throw in SSD drives.
Now we can do RAID5 via software and save substantially.
Pro Video Coallition
We are big fans of SoftRAID, and each iteration proves how valuable it is to the Mac community, from rock solid, feature rich products, to almost immediate customer support. We recommend SoftRaid 5 enthusiastically.
The Disk Utility that ships with Mac OS X doesn’t support RAID 5. It also isn’t updated very often, which is another cause for concern. SoftRAID gives me a much greater level of comfort for performance and reliability because the company is dedicated to this product, where Apple engineers get shuffled around and old software gets left behind.
William Beem Photography
...when comparing the speeds of the SoftRAID in the OWC unit to the software RAID in a Drobo, the OWC FAR out-performs the Drobo.
Edit Smarter with Larry Jordan
As sexy as computers are, media creators will spend far more money for storage than they will ever spend on a computer. Additionally, the performance of your editing system is far more dependent upon your storage than the speed of your computer. For this reason, getting high-performance, high-capacity storage for any media work is essential.
The OWC ThunderBay 4 delivers solid performance from a 4-drive RAID 5 system at a very reasonable price. Plus, the ability to use RAID 5 to protect your data makes this a superior choice to any RAID 0 system. The system ships in two basic configurations: one without a software RAID controller and one with. My recommendation is to spend the extra money and get the configuration with SoftRAID.
OWC’s option to include SoftRAID RAID 5 is definitely a very attractive option to the media professional. RAID 5 is a striped RAID and provides optimum RAID speeds for 3 of the 4 drives in use, or 75% of the space. The remainder is utilized to provide redundancy that is critical should a hard drive fail. If one were to fail while in the ThunderBay 4 RAID5 Edition, it could simply be hot swapped and absolutely no information is lost. Speed, capacity and data security; how much better does it get?
The SSD Review
The SoftRAID app included with the ThunderBay 4 offers a number of capabilities beyond what's available in Apple's Disk Utility. If you're planning to use the enclosure in a RAID configuration of any type, I highly recommend SoftRAID. I've been using SoftRAID for years on our own server, to provide mirrored arrays with fault reporting and automatic rebuilding.
The performance is outstanding—using four hard drives, these speeds are exceptional....
Note that RAID 5 (striping with parity) and RAID 1+0 (striped pair of mirrors) offer fault tolerance, yet the performance level remains in excess of what most programs can benefit from or take advantage of. Even Photoshop tops out around 500-600 MB/sec before running into its own internal bottlenecks when saving or opening big files.
Mac Performance Guide