Data Storage Comparison Guide: RAID 0 vs. RAID 1 vs. RAID 5 vs. RAID 6 vs. RAID 10

Providing seamless web service has become extremely important nowadays. Websites have to respond in less than a second to prevent delays in the user’s experience. Unless you optimized web infrastructure to support online operations efficiently, they can fail to meet these challenges.

This is why to ensure top performance of your website; you must enable RAID data storage structures in your web servers and other storage devices. In this article, we will provide a detailed data storage comparison guide and outline the differences between types of RAID systems.

What Is RAID?

RAID, short for Redundant Array for Independent Disks, is a technique for arranging data storage across a subsystem of multiple disks. The purpose of these systems is to improve the performance of the storage system and strengthen fault tolerance.

RAID 0 vs. RAID 1 vs. RAID 5 vs. RAID 6 vs. RAID 10

There are several ways of organizing RAID systems for your storage. Each technique has it unique benefits that make it ideal for certain situations.

RAID 0

RAID 0 uses a special technique called data striping. It segments sequential data logically throughout multiple disks, improving the server’s ability to process data. Servers can read one file from multiple disks and benefits from the capacity and speed of all those disks, simultaneously.

However, it does have a few drawbacks. RAID 0 doesn’t allow data redundancy. Disks used in this technique act as one partition.  As a result, the storage system has no support for fault tolerance. In case something goes wrong, we don’t have duplicated data or a place to store parity information.

Unfortunately, even if a single disk fails, the array will break, and RAID 0 will lose all data. Because of this, most users prefer RAID 0 in situations speed is utmost important, such as in caching live streams or other applications. In this technique, you will need at least two disks to function. The best way to use RAID 0 is for VOD Edge server, live streaming, or IPTV.

RAID 1

The RAID 1 storage system reads and writes identical data to two drives. These two drives are used as pairs to implement data mirroring. Here servers have more than one copy of data, which helps them improve fault tolerance and data redundancy.

Because of this unique system, your computing resources continue to perform even when one of its disks crashes. Your storage device can access data from the undamaged disk until you replace the faulty disk. However, your company may need to pay an additional cost for this luxury.

To store an extra copy of your data, you must buy additional equipment to store a mirror copy. This not only increases the initial cost of these storage systems, but also increases the maintenance overhead, as well.

That said, RAID 1 offers you exceptional fault tolerance while at the same time, enhancing your device’s performance and making data recovery easier. You may need at least two disks to run as a pair for RAID 1. This technique is ideal for situations where data redundancy is critical for your business.

RAID 5

Just like RAID 0, RAID 5 uses logical data blocks throughout multiple disks. However, it uses another technique to store parity information along with data mirroring. This extra bit of information is saved across all disks.

Parity information here is the Meta Description that summarizes the properties of the larger block of data. It tells you accurately how you may have stored data on a particular disk. Although this small difference seems trivial at first, it helps a lot during data recovery in case of failure.

This is why even if either of the disks in the logical array crash, you can recreate and recover data by extracting parity information from the remaining parity blocks. The remaining distributed data also accelerates data recovery.

As a result, the RAID 5 level offers more speed compared to others along with data redundancy in the form of parity data. The option to access data from multiple disks makes increases the speed.

That said, because of this additional information, the servers can use only one-third or four-fifths of available disk capacity. The rest of the storage space is reserved for storing parity information. Although recent changes have improved the system, in terms of speed, you should still avoid RAID 5 in situations where the demand for read and write applications is high.

RAID 05 provides reasonable fault tolerance but fails to give the same kind of speed as RAID 0. It’s best for applications where you want both of those features, like in application servers and file storage. Ideally, you should acquire at least three disks.

RAID 6

RAID 6 is similar to RAID 5, but has two drives to write parity data. Therefore, it needs at least four drives to provide backup in case two drives die simultaneously. The reading speed of RAID 6 is as fast as RAID 5.

However, it writes slower compared to RAID 5 because it must calculate additional parity data. The double fault tolerance makes RAID 6 a great option for a standard web server, since these storages mostly read transactions. That said, you should avoid using it in an environment where it must write extensively, such as in database servers.

RAID 10

RAID 10 (rather RAID 1+0) is a storage system that uses a combination of RAID 0 and RAID 1. RAID 1 gives you data mirroring, whereas RAID 0 enables data striping. Because of this, it may need a set of at least four disks that mirror data for safety in one place and use rest of storage as a contiguous block of memory. In other words, it offers robust performance and also gives room for reliable data redundancy and fault tolerance

Because of its robust system, RAID 10 can easily handle I/O-intensive applications that require high disk performance without the risk of downtime. Therefore, these systems are ideal for mission-critical database servers. However, you must keep in mind the overwhelming cost and upkeep of these systems.

Migrating RAID Levels

As your storage requirements change, migrating to new RAID techniques becomes extremely important to meet your storage needs better.

 

Existing RAID Level Supported Migration RAID Level
Simple volume RAID 1
RAID 0
  • RAID 5
  • RAID 10
RAID 1
  • Simple volume
  • RAID 0
  • RAID 5
  • RAID 10
RAID 5
  • RAID 0
  • RAID 5EE
  • RAID 6
  • RAID 10
RAID 6 RAID 5
RAID 10
  • RAID 0
  • RAID 5

 

 

In conclusion, all of these RAID techniques are ideal for specific situations. RAID 5, RAID 6 and RAID 10 provide enough features for optimal fault tolerance and performance, especially for most small to medium sized enterprises. In a limited budget, when you want to make the most of your resources, RAID 5 and RAID 6 are ideal.

However, for larger data operations like data centers and server farms that have bigger budgets, performance becomes even more important. In such situations, RAID 10 gives you the most value for its price.