RAID disk storage systems are essential for the robust performance of servers and for providing high availability and redundancy of data. Read to learn the differences between RAID 0 vs. RAID 1 vs. RAID 5 vs. RAID 10.
We’re living in an age where customers have become accustomed to accessing services and information online and any downtime or service disruption is not accepted by most people.
As a result, online business owners or IT system administrator have to consider various redundancy features to ensure they offer a stress-free online experience to customers or to the networks users of the Enterprise.
In order to facilitate smooth operations of their systems, businesses need to choose robust infrastructure technologies to ensure great availability of services and resources.
Hard Disk storage on servers is one of the vital components that usually breaks down frequently and needs to have redundancy in place. This is where RAID comes in.
Redundant Array for Independent Disks (RAID) is a technology for hard disk storage that helps you to store your data across multiple disks.
It helps your servers to either improve performance, strengthen fault tolerance, or both at the same time.
In this article, we will discuss each major RAID level and recommend a system that would be ideal for your technical needs.
Table of Contents
Quick Comparison Table
|RAID 0||RAID 1||RAID 5||RAID 10|
|Fault Tolerance||Bad||Great||Very Good||Great|
|Technology used||Striping||Mirroring||Parity mirroring||Striping + Mirroring|
|Best use case||Live streaming, IPTV||When redundancy of data is important||Database storage||Mission Critical systems|
RAID 0 follows a method called data striping, which segments logically sequential data across multiple disks and boosts the server’s ability to process data.
The server reads every single file from multiple disks and has access to the capacity and speed of all those disks.
With that said, this technique for accessing data does not allow any room for data redundancy, and the disks used in the process act as a single partition.
As a result, there is also no support for fault tolerance in case anything goes wrong. Since it doesn’t duplicate data or store parity information when any one of the disks fails, the array breaks, and the data is lost.
This is why RAID 0 is preferred in situations where the equipment is caching live streams or other applications where speed is of utmost importance.
The technique requires a minimum of two disks to function. The most suitable use cases for it include live streaming, VOD Edge server, or IPTV.
Quick Characteristics of RAID 0
- No fault tolerance.
- Very fast performance.
- Needs at least 2 disks.
- Uses data Striping.
- Best use case is when performance is more important than reliability.
- Total Storage capacity is the sum of the size of each disk.
The RAID 1 technique reads and writes identical data to a pair of drives, which is an action commonly known as data mirroring.
It enables the server to store more than one copy of data and helps improve data redundancy and fault tolerance.
Even if a single disk fails, the system can still access the data from the remaining disks until the faulty disk is replaced.
The main downside of this approach is that you have to buy additional disks to store a mirror copy of the data, which increases the overall cost and overhead.
However, the technique provides effective fault tolerance while improving read performance and making it easier to recover data.
RAID 1 needs a minimum of two disks to function. We highly recommended RAID 1 in cases where data redundancy is critical.
Quick Characteristics of RAID 1
- Great fault tolerance
- Data is mirrored (copied) to more than 1 disks
- Minimum 2 disks required
- Slower Write but Fast Read
- Best use case is when redundancy of data is more important than performance.
- Total Storage capacity of the array is equal to size of one disk.
Similar to RAID 0, RAID 5 creates logical data blocks across multiple disks. However, the method differs from the former technique because it also stores parity information about the data across all the disks.
The parity information is the meta description of the larger block of data that accurately describes how data was saved on a particular disk. This small change makes it easier to recover data in case of failure.
In case any of the disks in the logical array fail, you have the option to recreate the data with the help of remaining parity blocks and the distributed data stored on them.
As a result, the RAID level offers speed (because data is accessed from multiple disks), along with data redundancy in the form of parity data.
However, only one-third or four-fifths of available disk capacity is usable for the server, while the remaining space is reserved for storing parity information.
With recent changes, the technique now offers better speed than it previously did, but isn’t ideal for high read and write applications.
To sum it up, RAID 5 does provide sufficient fault tolerance, but does not offer the same kind of speed as RAID 0.
Nevertheless, it is a useful option to have when you want both of those features, and the technique is suitable for file storage and application servers. You need at least three disks to use the technology effectively.
Quick Characteristics of RAID 5
- Minimum 3 disks needed
- Very good fault tolerance
- Not as fast as RAID 0
- Fast read, slow write
- Best use case is with Databases
RAID 10 (RAID 1+0) is a technique that uses RAID 0 and RAID 1 at the same time. It uses mirroring from RAID 1, along with striping features of RAID 0.
Therefore, it uses a set of at least four disks to mirror data in one section and use the remaining drives as contiguous blocks of memory for fast processing.
As a result, it is able to offer both increased performance and room for fault tolerance and data redundancy. This makes it ideal for environments that need both enhanced performance and reliable data security.
RAID 10 is robust enough to handle I/O-intensive applications that not only need high disk performance but cannot afford any downtime. These characteristics make it highly-suited for mission-critical database servers.
With that said, the technique is the costliest to implement when compared to other RAID systems. Small organizations might find the technique’s 100% storage capacity overhead a bit challenging.
Quick Characteristics of RAID 10
- Great redundancy
- Great performance
- Minimum 4 disks required
- Uses both striping and mirroring
- More expensive
- Best use cases is in mission-critical applications and systems.
In conclusion, all of these RAID techniques are great for certain applications. Therefore, it’s best to evaluate your technical needs to select the option that best fits your requirements.