Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) is a technology for storage units that offers a balanced flow and plenty of benefits, such as better fault tolerance, enhanced reliability, and high performance.
It combines two or more disk storage arrays into logical units that behave like a single drive. This offers The grouping is implemented using software and hardware.
In simple terms, RAID allows multiple hard drives to couple with a single larger storage capacity disk.
Along with creating a larger storage space from numerous smaller drives, it also helps in different performance tasks, such as protection across drives to improve write and read speed and mirroring for data redundancy.
There are different RAID levels available to choose from. RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10 are the most popular levels. Each level is developed to accomplish a certain task.
This term is quite unfamiliar, and hence, many people find it challenging to make a proper decision on what to choose between RAID 0 and RAID 1.
In this article, I’ll discuss RAID 0 VS RAID 1 and compare them to help you understand the difference between the two technologies.
What Is RAID 0?
RAID 0 is a standard configuration that uses data striping rather than parity and mirroring for handling data. It is the process of dividing data into different blocks and spreading them across other storage devices, such as solid-state drives (SSDs) or hard disks.
RAID 0 generally improves the system’s performance and relies entirely on RAID for its operations. Also, it helps in creating a large logical volume from various sets of small-capacity drives.
How Does RAID 0 Work?
A stripe includes data divided across SSDs or hard disks, and the striped unit defines the data slice on the individual drive. Since striping extends the data across physical drives, different disks can access contents, enabling reads and writes to complete faster.
Disk striping, without parity for handling data, tends to have zero fault tolerance and redundancy. This means that when a drive fails, all the data on the drive will be lost. A system stripes data on different levels, such as byte-level, bite-level, block-level, or partition-level.
For example, a storage system has ten hard disks that strip a 64 KB block on the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth disks. It restarts from the first disk. Similarly, the system strips 1 MB of data on each of the 10 disks and returns to the first disks to repeat the procedure.
Thus, RAID 0 is one of the best technologies used for storage. Though it is non-critical, it requires high-speed writing and reading. Caching video editing and live streaming video are some use cases of RAID 0 due to its speed and performance.
What Is RAID 1?
RAID 1, also called disk mirroring, is cloning/copying data to multiple disks. Applications, such as operating systems, email systems, transactional applications, etc., that require high availability and performance can leverage this disk mirroring.
RAID 1 is the most used RAID level that aims to enhance the security of the stored data. It used a simple concept of combining two or more hard disks that store your data in a duplicate manner. This process is known as mirroring.
For example, if a file is written and saved to one hard disk, it will automatically be saved on hard disk 2, 3, or other disks. This means that the system provides complete redundancy, which means if one drive fails, the second is ready to jump in.
How Does RAID 1 Work?
The RAID array works if one drive is active and operational. As both the drives are operational, data can be read easily from them, which makes the operation fast. Since RAID 1 works well with SSDs for contemporary storage systems, many prefer “drive monitoring”.
However, writing operations are slower as each writing operation is done twice. During disaster recovery scenarios, one and only disk mirroring is helpful as it gives failover for the data that you need for mission-critical applications.
If the primary drive gets damaged or is not operational, traffic instantly switches to the mirrored or secondary backup drives. Then, the mirror copy can become operational because the application software and operating system are cloned to the drive along with the information by the applications.
RAID 0 vs. RAID 1: Advantages and Limitations
Now that you know about RAID 0 and RAID 1 let’s discuss some advantages and limitations of both technologies.
Advantages of RAID 0
- Enhanced performance: RAID 0 offers higher speed and performance. Let’s understand this with an example. When the data is striped across three devices, it offers three times more bandwidth. If we assume every drive runs at 250 Input Output Operations per second, the setup will have 750 IOPS, making it super fast for you.
- No overhead: The entire capacity of each drive is used for storing as RAID 0 doesn’t use parity disks.
- Easy to implement: You don’t need many skills to set up a RAID 0 level, making it quicker and easier to implement.
- Low cost: The configuration cost of RAID 0 is lesser and is supported by the RAID controllers.
- Bandwidth: The bandwidth of RAID 0 is greater than single drives.
- Storage Capacity: It utilizes the complete storage capacity
Limitations of RAID 0
The main limitation of RAID 0 is that there is no parity, resulting in no fault tolerance. If your data is lost or corrupted for some reason, there is no backup or resiliency, making it impossible to retrieve any data.
The probability of failure with RAID 0 is higher than with single drives. Therefore, it’s considered the ideal choice for critical systems.
Advantages of RAID 1
- Data redundancy: The major advantage of RAID 1 technology is data redundancy because data is duplicated across two or more disks.
- Fault tolerance: For the most mission-critical applications, this type of data storage is most-suited. When one drive fails, another drive takes over the primary duty. Since both drives include identical data, the users have no impact.
- High performance: The data you use can be read from multiple devices simultaneously. Hence, it is relatively faster.
- High availability: Data is mirrored across two or more disks. So at the time of need or disaster recovery scenario, you can easily retrieve the data. Hence, the possibility of losing data is narrow.
- High security: From a security point of view, RAID 1 provides data security by copying data at multiple places. Suppose one of your systems is hacked and you lose data; you can still access another.
Limitations of RAID 1
RAID 1 finds usage in many sectors due to its mirroring functionality. This level plays a crucial role in securing your data from personal to enterprise use. But it still has some limitations.
- No real-time swapping: When the first disk fails, the secondary disk doesn’t take the role immediately or automatically. It needs to be restarted, which is a little bit of an inconvenience.
- Expensive: RAID 1 requires more space to implement. Thus, it is more costly compared to RAID 0.
- Reduced storage capacity: If you use two disks at a time and both contain the same data, your overall capacity gets halved.
- Performance: Read and write performance in RAID 1.
RAID 0 vs. RAID 1: Similarities
There are a few similarities between RAID 0 and RAID 1 in terms of build-up and needs. Yet, they are different in their functionality of storing data. Let’s see what they are:
- RAID 0 and RAID 1 are array levels.
- The primary use of both RAID levels is direct data management of the disk drives.
- Both technologies were conceived in 1987 and released in 1988.
- RAID 0 and RAID 1 are open formats.
- The technologies used in these levels are servers, virtualization, and hard drives.
- The minimum number of disks required is 2 for both arrays.
RAID 0 vs. RAID 1: Differences
The largest differences between the two levels are their primary data storage functions. RAID 0 and RAID 1 handle their storage devices differently. RAID 0 puts all the drives in the RAID array into a single logical volume, whereas RAID 1 copies the primary drive to multiple drives in the array in real time.
This makes RAID 0 the fastest storage drive for reading and writing operations at a much lower cost. In contrast, RAID 1 becomes the safer option for enterprises for their data integrity and safety. Since both are full of advantages in their path, it will be challenging to decide which one to choose.
The simple yet powerful option can be the real-world usage of each array. This means where there is a risk of failure or security; you need to focus on RAID 1. In some cases, like PC gaming and 3D modeling, where you need the fastest speed in reading and writing operations, RAID 0 is your best option.
Let’s understand the major differences between RAID 0 and RAID 1 side by side:
|RAID 0||RAID 1|
|RAID 0 means Redundant Array of Independent Disk level 0.||RAID 1 means Redundant Array of Independent Disk level 1.|
|In the RAID 0 array, disk striping is the primary operation.||In RAID 1, disk mirroring or duplication is the primary operation.|
|The cost is relatively lower.||It is costly as compared to RAID 0.|
|No write penalty.||There is a written penalty.|
|The relative storage capacity is 100%.||The relative storage capacity is 50 %.|
|The read and write performance, along with speed, is high.||The read and write performance and speed are slower than RAID 0.|
|It emphasizes data accessing speed.||It emphasizes data availability.|
|There is no protection.||You will find mirror protection.|
|There is no redundancy, fault tolerance, and mirroring facility.||You will get redundancy, mirroring, and fault tolerance.|
|It’s used when the data reliability is less concerned, but speed is crucial.||It’s used when data loss is not acceptable.|
|Data is unrecoverable.||Data can be quickly recovered in a disaster recovery program.|
|Data is stored in one place.||Data can be stored in multiple places.|
|Two disks contain two different sets of data.||Two disks contain similar sets of data.|
RAID 0 vs. RAID 1: When to Use Each?
- If you need 100 percent storage capacity and data loss is not a big problem, RAID 0 is your best option as it’s less expensive.
- If you need to create a logical volume on top of the volumes, such as creating volumes on RAID-protected LVM in Linux servers, the RAID 0 level is perfect.
- If another form of data security is available, such as replica copy, network RAID, etc., in the event of losing data, RAID 0 is a better option for personal use like PC gaming.
- If data redundancy is your primary need, RAID 1 will be better.
- If storage capacity and budget are not major issues but security is, RAID 1 level is preferable.
- It is best suitable for mission-critical applications.
- If you want high Input Output Operations per Second (IOPS), go with RAID 1.
Combining RAID 0 and RAID 1
Two concepts can be combined separately to make the best use of both technologies in different areas. If you combine RAID 0 and RAID 1, you can create two combinations:
- RAID 01 (RAID 0+1)
- RAID 10 (RAID 1+0)
The level that comes first in the combination has its function and is later used as the second function of the second level. RAID 0 and RAID 1 combine to make a strip of mirrors, whereas RAID 1 and RAID 0 are connected to make a mirror of strip configuration.
These combinations are known as nested RAID levels. Since RAID 10 comes with greater fault tolerance, it is widely used in many enterprises. It combines disk mirroring and disk striping concepts to simultaneously use 100% storage capacity and data security. This way, you can store more and more data without losing any data, even during a disaster recovery program.
Choosing between RAID 0 and RAID 1 can be tricky. It’s not a matter of technology, but it largely depends on your use case.
RAID 0 offers no redundancy and uses striping, which means data is split across multiple drives to read or write data at high speed. On the other hand, RAID 1 offers data redundancy through data replication which means data is written similarly to two or more drives making it ready for any disaster. But, RAID 1 is slightly slower as compared to RAID 0.
You see, both levels work pretty well in different use cases. RAID 0 can be a better choice when you need the performance over redundancy. And when you need to handle mission-critical systems, RAID 1 can be better. So, choose RAID 0 or RAID 1 based on your requirements.
You may also explore some best Network Attached Storage (NAS) solutions for versatile data backup and protection.