RAID 5 vs. RAID 1: Which One is Better For You?

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Sep 14, 2021 • Filed to: Windows Computer Solutions • Proven solutions

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Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) is a storage technology that is widely used to improve the reliability and overall performance of data storage. RAID technology uses the combination of several physical hard disks or SSDs on your system to create a logical drive that is many times better than the individual drive.

Choosing a RAID level is a matter of careful consideration, and users can often be hesitant to make a choice. While looking for the perfect RAID level, one has to take into consideration various factors, including cost, reliability, performance, and capacity, among other things. If you are confused between RAID 5 and RAID 1 and do not know which one to choose, just go through the article below and know all about the two.


Part 1: Basic Information about RAID 5 and RAID 1

Before finding out the main features of RAID 1 and RAID 5, let’s first look at what these RAID levels are and what they do.

RAID 1:

The RAID level 1 mirror data onto two or more disks without parity, stripping, or spanning. RAID 1 requires at least two drives, where the total usable disk space is equal to the size of a single disk. Data is written or "copied" on two drives, which results in the creation of a "mirrored" set of drives. As all the drives have identical copies of stored data, the disks remain functional in case of a system failure.

RAID 1 features good read and writes speeds, though the write throughput is normally slower. A great advantage of RAID 1 is that in case of disk failure, you can simply copy the data to a replacement drive instead of rebuilding it. However, as data is written twice, the effective storage capacity of the drive remains half of the total drive capacity. Also, in case of a disk failure, the system needs to shut down for repair.

RAID 5:

RAID 5 features block-level stripping in addition to distributed parity. It requires a minimum of 3 disks and can support up to 16 disk drives. RAID 5 configuration is an all-round arrangement that features good redundancy, performance, and storage capacity. It is the most basic of the modern parity RAID levels. It is suitable for use in servers and applications that have a limited number of data drives.

Read data transactions in RAID 5 are relatively fast and can serve multiple users simultaneously. Also, all the available space can be used as there is no data duplication. However, RAID 5 cannot survive multiple disk failures, and the data rebuild process takes longer. If another disk is damaged during the rebuild time, data will be lost forever. It is also not to be used in new arrays.


Part 2: Comparing RAID 5 and RAID 1

After gaining basic knowledge about the RAID levels, let us now look at the comparison between RAID 5 and RAID 1 using some common operations and features.

Configuration

The first and most basic difference between the two RAID levels arises in their configurations. The configuration of RAID 1 is quite simple. It uses two or more disks to store data identically, which minimizes data loss. To add extra redundancy, you can increase the number of disks.
RAID 5 configuration uses parity and checksum to increase redundancy. Instead of storing a mirror image of data, it implements distributed parity, which requires at least 3 disks.

Read and Write Operations

As data can be read in parallel in RAID 1, hence read operations are fast. However, the write operations can be relatively slower as the slowest disk can cause delay. Compared to RAID 1, the read operations are quite rapid in RAID 5, and so is the writing performance.

Data Storage

As the same data is copied onto two drives, the disk space in RAID 1 remains only half of the total storage capacity of the array. In contrast, RAID 5 storage capacity is split evenly on all the disks included.

Fault Tolerance

In RAID 1, data is mirrored on both drives. So in case one of the disks fails, normal functions can proceed. However, the system cannot have direct access to data and needs to shut down to repair the secondary drive.
When RAID 5 is concerned, parity provides fault tolerance. If one of the disks fails, data can be reconstructed using the parity information without having to shut down. Read and write operations might be slow during this process. But if multiple disks fail during the reconstruction process, data will be permanently lost.

Security

Raid 1 offers low security as two copies of data exist at the same time. However, RAID 5 offers excellent security and decent performance, owing to the parity checking on the array.


Part 3: Tip to Recover Lost Data from Hard Drive

If you are a victim of accidental loss of data from your hard drive, fret no more. You are at the right place to look for solutions. If you have lost your precious data as a result of some accident, you can retrieve it via some third-party tool. Wondershare Recoverit is an excellent choice in this regard.

Wondershare Recoverit is an efficient and easy-to-use tool that can be used to recover your lost files. It offers its users with a variety of impressive features that guides them to solve critical matters related to data recovery. It has made data recovery an easy and efficient process.

Users are offered a very exceptional and mesmerizing user interface with a service speed far beyond any doubt. Everything offered in this tool is free of cost; however, the user can buy multiple paid plans to get access to more features within the platform.

Following are some of the amazing benefits provided by Wondershare Recoverit to his users:

To recover a deleted or lost file from a hard drive using Wondershare Recoverit, first, download and install the program on your device. Follow the simplest step mentioned below to recover your file within seconds.

Step 1: Selection of Location

The first step is to identify the location from where you have lost your file and select it for the recovery press. Select the disk or drive and proceed to the next step.

select your drive

Step 2: Initiating the Scan

Click on the “Start” button available on the bottom right corner to initiate the scan for the lost data. Wondershare Recoverit will start the scan process, and the progress will be shown on the top of the software

Step 3: Preview and Recover Data

After the completion of the scan, the recovered files will be shown on the software. The user can select and preview the desired file before recovering it. For retrieving the file, the user has to click on the “Recover” button and save it to his hard drive.


The Bottom Line

Selecting a RAID level to suit your various needs might not be an easy task. RAID levels differ greatly between their performance, cost, reliability, and applications. Here, we tried to provide you with everything we could to make your choice easier. If you are looking for a level that can avoid data loss at all costs, you should go for RAID 1.
On the other hand, if you are looking for good data security and fast reads, choose RAID 5. Also, do not forget to use Wondershare Recoverit in order to make data loss easier on your nerves and recover almost all kinds of files from your drives easily.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Depending upon the number of disks formatted and the process of formatting, data on a RAID 5 volume might still be recoverable. If you re-format a volume using Windows, a clean volume will be formed, but old data will still be on the disk in the "free and available" section. However, formatting a low-level volume will result in the destruction of the original data.

RAID 1 requires a minimum of two hard drives in order to create and maintain the volume. As data is duplicated or "mirrored" on a pair of drives; hence an even number of drives are used when using more than 2 disks.

Yes, you can still recover data from a RAID volume if multiple drives fail at once. For this, you need to recover data from each failed drive one by one before returning to the rest of the volume. Usually, data recovery depends upon the intensity of the damage that each failed drive encountered.

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