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Software RAID-5 in SoftRAID

Last updated 2014-06-08 - Send Feedback
Related: Storage, Video, RAID, Thunderbolt

RAID-5 is a fault-tolerant storage approach which allows the failure of one drive.

For software RAID-5, SoftRAID 5 is the first and only choice for Apple OS X as of mid 2014. It offers high performance (better than most hardware RAID), and an easy to use feature set.

This page shows various aspects of using RAID-5 in SoftRAID.

5-drive RAID-5

A 5-drive RAID-5 in SoftRAID. All drives are operating normally, so full fault-tolerance in in effect—one drive can fail and the RAID continues to operate.

5-drive RAID-5 volume in SoftRAID 5

Adding a replacement drive

A drive has failed. Replace the drive so that the rebuild process can begin.

Having a cold spare on hand lets the rebuild process start immediately, so that fault tolerance can be restored. Not having a spare means that the rebuild process is delayed, which puts the RAID-5 at risk of a 2nd drive failure, which would be fatal to the volume.

Adding a drive to replace a failed one

4-drive RAID-5 , degraded but rebuilding

One of the drives has failed and has been replaced.

SoftRAID is rebuilding the RAID-5 to restore fault-tolerance.

4-drive RAID-5 volume in SoftRAID 5

When the RAID-5 has been rebuilt, SoftRAID posts a notification.

Rebuild done
Durable and fast, up to 1800MB/s
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