RAID Calculator

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. RAID is a method of combining several hard drives into one unit. It offers fault tolerance and higher throughput levels than a single hard drive or group of independent hard drives.

RAID Disk Space Calculator

SELECT YOUR RAID CONFIGURATION

RAID 0 stripe A RAID 0 set requires either a disk quantity greater than 1 or disk size greater than 1.
RAID 1 2 Disks The only allowable number of disks in a RAID 1 set is 2.
RAID 5 min 3 The minimum number of disks in a RAID 5 set is 3.
RAID 5E The minimum number of disks in a RAID 5E set is 4.
RAID 6 min 4 The minimum number of disks in a RAID 6 set is 4.
RAID 10 min 4 The minimum number of disks in a RAID 10 set is 4 and it must be an even number.
RAID 50 min 6 The minimum number of disks in a RAID 50 set is 6.
RAID 51 The minimum number of disks in a RAID 51 set is 6 and it must be an even number.
RAID 60 min 8 The minimum number of disks in a RAID 60 set is 8.
RAID 61 The minimum number of disks in a RAID 61 set is 8 and it must be an even number.

Total Available Storage

RAID 0 (STRIPE)

RAID 0 splits data across drives, resulting in higher data throughput. The performance of this configuration is extremely high, but a loss of any drive in the array will result in data loss. This level is commonly referred to as striping.

Minimum number of drives required: 2

Performance: High
Redundancy: Low
Efficiency: High

ADVANTAGES:

  • High performance
  • Easy to implement
  • Highly efficient (no parity overhead)

DISADVANTAGES:

  • No redundancy
  • Limited business use cases due to no fault tolerance

RAID 1 (STRIPE + MIRROR)

RAID 1 writes all data to two or more drives for 100% redundancy: if either drive fails, no data is lost. Compared to a single drive, this mode tends to be faster on reads, slower on writes. This is a good entry-level redundant configuration. However, since an entire drive is a duplicate, the cost per megabyte is high. This is commonly referred to as mirroring.

Minimum number of drives required: 2

Performance: Average

Redundancy: High

Efficiency: Low

ADVANTAGES:

  • Fault tolerant
  • Easy to recover data in case of drive failure
  • Easy to implement

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Highly inefficient (100% parity overhead)
  • Not scalable (becomes very costly as number of disks increase)

RAID 5 (DRIVES WITH PARITY)

RAID 5 stripes data at a block level across several drives, with parity equality distributed among the drives. The parity information allows recovery from the failure of any single drive. Write performance is rather quick, but because parity data must be skipped on each drive during reads, reads are slower. The low ratio of parity to data means low redundancy overhead.

Minimum number of drives required: 3

Performance: Average

Redundancy: High

Efficiency: High

ADVANTAGES:

  • Fault tolerant
  • High efficiency

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Disk failure has a medium impact on throughput
  • Complex controller design

 

RAID 6 (DRIVES WITH DOUBLE PARITY)

RAID 6 is an upgrade from RAID 5: data is striped at a block level across several drives with double parity distributed among the drives. As you have with 5, parity information allows recovery from the failure of any single drive. The double parity gives 6 additional redundancy at the cost of lower write performance (read performance is the same), and redundancy overhead remains low.

Minimum number of drives required: 4

Performance: Average

Redundancy: High

Efficiency: High

ADVANTAGES:

  • Fault tolerant – increased redundancy over RAID 5
  • High efficiency
  • Remains a great option in multi-user environments which are not write performance sensitive

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Write performance penalty over RAID 5
  • More expensive than RAID 5
  • Disk failure has a medium impact on throughput
  • Complex controller design

RAID 10 (MIRROR + STRIPE)

RAID 10 is a striped (RAID 0) array whose segments are mirrored (RAID 1). This mode is a popular configuration for environments where high performance and security are required. In terms of performance it is similar to RAID 0+1. However, it has superior fault tolerance and rebuild performance.

Minimum number of drives required: 4

Performance: Very High

Redundancy: Very High

Efficiency: Low

ADVANTAGES:

  • Extremely high fault tolerance (under certain circumstances, RAID 10 array can sustain multiple simultaneous drive failures)
  • Very high performance
  • Faster rebuild performance than 0+1

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Very Expensive
  • High Overhead
  • Limited scalability

RAID 50 (PARITY + STRIPE)

RAID 50 combines RAID 5 parity and stripes it as in a RAID 0 configuration. Although high in cost and complexity, performance and fault tolerance are superior to RAID 5.

Minimum number of drives required: 6

Performance: High

Redundancy: High

Efficiency: Average

ADVANTAGES:

  • Higher fault tolerance, better performance and higher efficiency than RAID 5

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Very Expensive
  • High Overhead
  • Limited scalability

RAID 60 (DOUBLE PARITY + STRIPE)

RAID 60 combines RAID 6 double parity and stripes it as in a RAID 0 configuration. Although high in cost and complexity, performance and fault tolerance are superior to RAID 6.

Minimum number of drives required: 8

Performance: High

Redundancy: High

Efficiency: Average

ADVANTAGES:

  • Higher fault tolerance than RAID 6
  • Higher performance than RAID 6
  • Higher efficiency than RAID 6

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Very Expensive
  • Very complex / difficult to implement

RAID Calculator Tips

The PSSC Labs RAID calculator helps you by computing your RAID capacity characteristics as well as providing you with the most commonly used RAID types.

The PSSC RAID calculator provides the following parameters: the RAID type, the disk capacity in GB, the number of disks drives per RAID group. If your storage system consists of one or more RAID groups then call the PSSC Labs team at (949) 380-7288 for a custom RAID solution for your needs.

How is RAID Calculated?

PSSC RAID Configurations include:

The number of disks desired which is also associated with the level of RAID you are considering.  More details can be found in our common RAID questions.

Choosing the right RAID Configuration for you.

RAID O (Stripe)

RAID 1 (Stripe and Mirror)

RAID 5 (Drives with Parity)

RAID 6 (Drives with Double Parity)

RAID 10 (Mirror and Stripe)

RAID 50 (Parity and Stripe)

RAID 60 (Double Parity and Stripe)

If you use our RAID Calculator correctly, it will save you both time and money in the long run.  Check out our common RAID questions below as a guide to general RAID concepts.  If you are unsure about how to use our RAID calculator please contact our Sales Team at [email protected]

Common RAID Questions

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID). That means that RAID is a way of logically putting multiple disks together into a single array. The basic concept of RAID is that these disks working together will have the speed and reliability of a more expensive disk. The exact speed and reliability you’ll achieve from RAID depend on the type of RAID you’re using.

The PPSC Labs RAID Calculator will give you an estimate of how many drives will be utilized in different RAID levels with the understanding that your actual utilization may vary. This calculator only gives an approximation which is a great place to start, but your PSSC Team can help you determine the ideal configuration for you.

RAID is essential if uptime and availability are important to your organization. Backups will help ensure you from a catastrophic data loss. The challenge is that restoring large amounts of data, like when you experience a drive failure, can take many hours. Those backups can also be hours or days old, costing you all the data stored or changed since the last backup. RAID allows you to handle the failure of one or more drives without suffering any data loss and possibly without any actual downtime.

RAID is also useful if you are having disk IO issues, where applications are waiting on the disk to perform tasks. Going with RAID will provide you additional throughput by allowing you to read and write data from multiple drives instead of a single drive. Additionally, if you go with hardware RAID, the hardware RAID card will include additional memory to be used as a cache, reducing the strain put on the physical hardware which will increase your overall performance.

No RAID – This is a good solution if you are able to endure several hours of downtime and/or potential data loss while you restore your files from backups.

RAID 0 – Good if your data is unimportant and can be lost, but performance is still critical. A good example of this would be when you are handling a cache.

RAID 1 – If you are looking to inexpensively gain additional data redundancy and/or read speeds the RAID 1 might make sense for you. RAID 1 is also a good foundational level for those looking to achieve high uptime and increase their performance of backups.

RAID 5 | RAID 6 – This is a good solution if you have high read environments such as web servers or extremely large storage arrays as a single object. This will perform worse than RAID 1 on writes of data. If your environment is write-heavy, or you don’t need more space than is allowed on a disk with RAID 1 then you might find that RAID 1 is a more effective solution.

RAID 10 – RAID 10 is a good all-around solution that provides you with additional read and write speed as well as additional redundancy.

RAID 50 – RAID 50 is also known as RAID 5+0 and combines distributed parity (RAID 5) with striping RAID 0. Raid 50 requires a minimum of 6 drives. RAID 50 is best used for applications that require high reliability.

RAID 60 – RAID 60 is a type of storage that combines multiple RAID 6 sets with RAID 0. Dual parity allows the failure of two drives in each RAID 6 array while striping increases capacity and performance without adding additional drives to each RAID 6 set. If you want to know more about RAID 60 contact your PSSC Labs team at 949-380-7288 to learn more.

RAID does not equal 100 percent uptime.

Nothing can provide you with 100 percent uptime. RAID is another tool in the systems administrator’s toolbox meant to help minimize downtime and availability issues. There is still a risk of a RAID card failure, though that is a slightly significantly lower than a mechanical HDD drive failure.

RAID does not replace backups.

Nothing can replace a well-planned and frequently tested backup implementation so while can help it will never replace a backup. RAID will only provide redundancy for your data at the disk level so RAID is no replacement for a backup system. RAID is another tool in the systems administrator’s toolbox meant to help minimize downtime and availability issues. RAID does not replace backups. RAID will only provide redundancy for your data at the disk level so RAID is no replacement for an enterpise backup system.

RAID will not protect you against data corruption, human error, or even security vulnerabilities.

RAID should be just ONE part of your plan to keep your critical business data safe. RAID cannot protect you against human error, data corruption, or security vulnerabilities.

Essentially RAID is meant to provide redundant systems storage. RAID isn’t always the best option for virtualization and high-availability failovers. RAID may not be the best option so talk to your PSSC Labs Team to discuss your RAID specifications in more detail.

RAID does not mean that you can dynamically increase the size of the RAID array.

If you need more disk space, you cannot simply add another drive to the array. You are likely going to have to start from scratch which includes rebuilding and reformatting the array.

RAID isn’t always the best option for virtualization and high-availability failover.

RAID may not be the best option for your virtualization or high-availability failover needs. RAID is not a requirement of these types of systems, but instead, RAID protects against data loss in case one of the drives on which virtual machines or active clusters are running fails. RAID is another tool that can help you meet your needs. To learn more talk to your PSSC Labs Team to learn more how RAID can help your business.

 

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