Safety Critical Storage
RAID 4 and 5
Safe and Fast, for Design, Photography, Animation & General use
RAID 4 and RAID 5 volumes are perfect for storing edited video and audio data, animation files, digital photography, prepress and graphic artwork, and for any situation where you need to safely store a large amount of data, and access it fast.
RAID 4 and RAID 5 volumes give you the best combination for maximizing disk space, fastest access speeds and protection against disk failure. While other RAID levels may give you faster data access, or fail-safe data protection, no other RAID level combines speed, space and safety so well.
With RAID 4 and RAID 5, you’ll be able to keep working even after a disk gets an error or fails completely. You won’t lose hours retrieving data from the cloud or a backup disk.
How do RAID 4 and RAID 5 allow you to carry on working even with a failed disk? With RAID 4 & 5, each disk contains either a section of a data file, or a piece of ‘parity’ data, calculated (by SoftRAID) from your actual data. If the disk storing a segment of a data file fails, the parity data is used to reconstruct the missing piece of that file.
RAID 4 and RAID 5 are great if you need to frequently access (read) a lot of fairly small files. However they are much slower at writing many small files to disk, since they have to create ‘parity data’ for each file. If you need to write many small files, we suggest you use RAID 1+0
Use RAID 4 if you are using SSDs for your RAID system. If you are using mechanical hard drives RAID 5 is best.
You can read a more technical explanation of how RAID 4 and RAID 5 work here and how you can optimize your set up to get even faster read and write speeds here.
RAID 1+0 (10) – Stripes with Mirrored Pairs
The Ultimate Combination of Speed and Data Safety
RAID 1+0 combines the speed of RAID 0 stripes, with the safety of RAID 1 mirrors so it’s ideal if you need both super fast data access and increased data safety.
If you have 4 or more disks for your RAID volume, this is the best RAID solution there is. It’s perfect for businesses that need to store and quickly access a large amount of data, and for servers.
RAID 1+0 volumes are made up of pairs of disks. Each pair, called a mirror pair, contains two disks which have identical information. If one disk in a mirror pair fails, the volume can keep reading and writing your files because it will use the other disk in the mirror pair instead.
The increased speed of RAID 1+0 volumes comes from striping mirrored pairs of disks together. Instead of striping together individual disks, like a stripe (RAID 0) volume, a RAID 1+0 volume treats each mirror pair just like a single disk of a stripe volume. RAID 1+0 volumes can only be made with even numbers of disks and require at least 4 disks. With SoftRAID, you can create RAID 1+0 volumes with up to 16 disks ie. 8 mirrored pairs.
* All disks fail at some rate. Good disks fail at a rate of about 3% a year, bad ones at 25% a year, or more. Even SSDs (Solid State Disks) fail at about the same rate. After more than 500 hours of testing three popular disk brands, SoftRAID staff found – though most worked fine – one brand and model had a 33% failure rate. Your disk could be one that fails at a 3% rate, a 25% rate, or even higher; you won’t know till it happens. Even if you have one of the safer disks, over time, and with more disks, the risk of failure increases to as much as 25%. This is why you should only use a RAID 0 volume as part of a larger backup system. If all your data is only on a RAID 0 volume, it’s unprotected; if your disk fails, you could lose it all.