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SoftRAID 5.0.7 Delivers Performance Enhancements

SoftRAID 5.0.7 has been released. Details further below.

SoftRAID requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later. Support for TRIM commands on SSDs requires 10.7.5 or later. SoftRAID requires a Mac which contains a Core 2 Duo or later processor. It will not work on early Intel Macs with Core Duo processors.

See also:

Working through backup and fault tolerance issues for a professional setup? MPG offers consulting on that and much more.

SoftRAID is included with the OWC Thunderbay 4 RAID-5 Edition.

MPG testing previously showed that RAID-4 can be faster than RAID-5, but MPG has not re-evaluted this finding with SoftRAID version 5.0.7. RAID-5 and RAID-4 offer the same fault tolerance (RAID-4 uses a dedicated parity drive and RAID-5 uses distributed parity).

Three 5TB RAID-5 volumes using four 5TB drives

Fom the SoftRAID 5.0.7 elease notes—

New Features in SoftRAID 5.0.7

  • Support for RAID 4, 5 and 1+0 volumes. Macs can use any SoftRAID volume as a startup volume.
  • Complete support for high resolution displays.
  • Improved volume validation which will optionally fix parity or mirror data during the validation operation.
  • Improved error reporting.
  • Improved the predicted disk failure feature to provide more detailed information about how a disk is failing.
  • Up to 30% improvement in read/write performance for mirror volumes.
  • Numerous bug fixes in the SoftRAID application.
  • A SoftRAID status indicator which is always displayed in the menu bar.
  • Full support for the new kernel security features introduced in Mavericks (Mac OS X 10.9).

Known Bugs in SoftRAID 5.0.7

  • Your Mac may hang at shutdown if your remove a SoftRAID disk while your Mac is running. This bug only occurs if the disk is connected via SATA (or SATA over Thunderbolt) and you are running Mac OS X 10.9 or 10.10. This bug is fixed in Mac OS X 10.10.2.
  • There is a bug in Parallels software which can cause data corruption in your Windows virtual machines. We do not recommend using Parallels at this time.
  • The function in the SoftRAID application which allows converting volumes from one format to another is not yet implemented.

New features in version 5.0.7

  • The driver now automatically uses all disks when reading from from mirror (RAID 1) and RAID 1+0 volumes. The “Use all disks for mirror reads” preference has therefore been removed. This improves the read speed for mirror (RAID 1) volumes by up to 56% on HDDs and up to 86% on SSDs. This also improves the read speed for RAID 1+0 volumes by up to 56% on HDDs and up to 67% on SSDs.
  • The write speed of RAID 1+0 volumes which contain SSDs has been improved by up to 11%.
  • The write speed of stripe (RAID 0) volumes has been improved by up to 13%.
  • Volume validate and rebuild operations now proceed uninterrupted for the first 15 seconds to give feedback to the user that they the operations have started. After 15 seconds, they revert to being regulated by the volume optimization setting.
  • The cache flush code in the SoftRAID driver is changed so that writes to disks are always made in sequential order. Previous builds of the driver would issue out of order writes to disks in response to cache flush operations. This significantly speeds up cache flushes to HDDs (disks with rotating media).
  • SoftRAID can now detect all SSDs even if they are not on SATA buses.
  • The SoftRAID application now displays any SMART errors, predicted failures or i/o errors in small disk tiles. These tiles are used when a user is creating a volume or adding / removing a disk from a volume.
  • SoftRAID now writes the disk label and disk SoftRAID ID or disk serial number into all entries in the SoftRAID.log file.
  • The SoftRAID application now writes entries to the SoftRAID.log file to indicate which disk is added to or removed from a volume.

Bugs fixed in version 5.0.7

  • Fixed a bug in the SoftRAID application which could cause the position of disk tiles to change every second. This would happen when using a hardware RAID box which created multiple LUNs in the same device and reported all devices as “LUN 0.”
  • Fixed a bug in the SoftRAID application which caused volume tiles to not be in the correct order after creating a new volume.
  • Fixed a bug in the SoftRAID driver which caused writes to a volume to fail when using the repair functions in DiskWarrior and DriveGenius.
  • Fixed a bug in the SoftRAID application which prevented volumes from being mounted or unmounted if they were rebuilding or validating.
  • Fixed a bug in the SoftRAID driver which prevented volumes from remounting after they were converted to read-only volumes.
  • Fixed a bug in the SoftRAID application which prevented some SoftRAID volumes from being resized.
  • Fixed a bug in the SoftRAID application which caused mirror volumes to display “missing secondary disks” after a disk was removed from them.
  • Fixed a bug in the SoftRAID application which caused the incorrect disk in a RAID 4 volume to be labelled the parity disk.
  • Fixed a bug in the SoftRAID driver which could cause data corruption when small blocks were written to a degraded RAID 4 volume.
  • Fixed a bug in the SoftRAID application which prevented the sizes displayed in volume tiles from updating correctly if the application preference which determines how many bytes are in 1 KB was changed (1,024 bytes vs 1,000 bytes).
  • Fixed a bug in the SoftRAID driver which affected volume permissions.
  • Fixed a bug in the SoftRAID application which caused it to not allow a user to resume certifying or verifying a disk if a Mac was restarted or shutdown while the operations were in progress.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the incorrect dialog box to appear when deleting a volume which contained open files.
  • Fixed a bug which caused the application to hang if a disk was removed while the SoftRAID application was blinking the disk light.
  • Fixed a bug in the SoftRAID driver which caused a kernel panic if there was a stripe volume with one or more disks missing and the user selected “Remove Missing Disks” from the “Volume” menu in the SoftRAID application.
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