Difference between Software Raid and Hardware Raid?

superman2727

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If you are renting a dedicated server then which raid would you prefer is it software raid or hardware raid? I would like to know the advantages and disadvantages of software, hardware raid and how you would go about selecting which raid to use?
 

VirtuBox

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If you are renting a dedicated server then which raid would you prefer is it software raid or hardware raid? I would like to know the advantages and disadvantages of software, hardware raid and how you would go about selecting which raid to use?
Hardware raid is a better solution than software raid because it doesn't use your server resources to manage the replication on two or several disks. Especially when you use mirroring RAID system like RAID 1, 5 or 10, which require more CPU resources than RAID 0.
The main difference is software raid is management by your server operating system, when hardware raid is managed by a dedicated card. So with a hardware raid, your operating system do not know if there is a replication or not on your disk, it only see a single disk.
 

superman2727

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superman2727
Woah, these all sounds new to me. So hardware raid is more advisable to use than the software raid? I would definitely excited to see its actual differences. Maybe I'll also ask my friends. Thanks for the information!
 
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#4
If you are renting a dedicated server then which raid would you prefer is it software raid or hardware raid? I would like to know the advantages and disadvantages of software, hardware raid and how you would go about selecting which raid to use?
In general, I would recommend HW RAID with more disks (4+) and bear in mind that's usually a more expensive solution (roughly +$30-$50/month). We have also written the basic advice which RAID to choose, you can check it out here https://datapacket.com/blog/advantages-disadvantages-various-raid-levels/
 

qbeststar

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If you are renting a dedicated server then which raid would you prefer is it software raid or hardware raid? I would like to know the advantages and disadvantages of software, hardware raid and how you would go about selecting which raid to use?
If you have good quality HW raid then better us this type of RAID, but they have price $400 and more , must have 2GB cache with BBU, if your server hase integraded raid or low price without BBU , then use only SW RAID bettwer RAID 10.

Also SW raid 10 has better speed than HW raid 10
 

HostColor

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The main difference is that how the RAID processing happens. Software RAID performs it using the server's CPU. The hardware RAID is organized by a separate hardware module (RAID Controller) and generally provides better performance. However, the new storage solutions, virtualization techniques and Cloud computing crates storage environments which are much more complex than the simple software or hardware RAID implemented on any stand-alone server. So, I would suggest anyone to explore the storage opportunities available, based on their requirements and budget.
 
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Unless you are using a RAID that has to calculate a parity bit (like RAID5 does) then on most modern system software RAID (mdadm) is going to be fine.

If you're not using Linux, then you may need a hardware solution.

Hardware RAID will require more specific hard drives to operate correctly (although most hard drives these days probably fit, so this is less of an issue). You also add in the potential bottleneck of the hardware RAID controller. Get a balky RAID controller and it can chew up performance of your RAID.

Software RAID also just lets you streamline your systems across many different servers. For example, your technique for checking the RAID status is the same across all servers. But if you use hardware RAID, if the controller is different server to server, then the technique is going to be different for reach server.
 
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For our implementations, we use hardware raid for larger configurations (where you have more than 4+ disks) and software raid for smaller configurations (2 to 4 disks). The increase received from hardware RAID is negligible on smaller disk configurations.
Hardware RAID has a couple of disadvantages though. The configuration page is during the boot process, so accessing and working on the raid has to be done during a reboot. As long as you have IPMI or console access, this may not be a big deal, but you are somewhat limited by diagnostic tools.
Hardware RAID is the way to go if you want to do Windows based RAID, as there is no RAID option during Windows or Windows Server install process.
Software raid though has a lot of additional options, as you can access mdadm when accessed as the root user to configure the RAID, and add/drop disks through this interface. This requires hot swap, but the fact that you can do that is pretty helpful. You can also run health checking tools like hard disk sentinel on software raid, as the disks will still be displays in the /dev/sd* manner.
Another thing you can do with software raid, is that you can take an installation that is installed to a single disk, and convert to software raid. This requires a separate OS setup, or a boot into a rescue disk, but you can copy the drive partitions from a single disk to 2 or 3, and configure the boot sector across all disks if you are converting to RAID 1. This is a bit more complex than deploying a RAID 1 or RAID 10 from scratch, but can be done.
Based on the Ops question, I think that software raid should suffice, and as long as he keeps his max disk usage below 80%, he shouldn’t run into too many issues.
 
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#9
The different ways that mirroring, striping and parity are used defines the different RAID levels. Processing is required to carry out those actions, and that can take place on the host server's OS or in the storage array or controller. This is also called software RAID vs. hardware RAID.
 
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Hi,

I would like to answer the question A RAID is an array of disks that appear to the operating system as a single device. They are used to increase reliability and/or capacity.

A software RAID uses ordinary disk drives and controllers, while the operating system shows them as a single device to users/applications.

A hardware RAID uses hardware to make the multiple devices appear as a single device - to the operating system itself.

A hardware RAID is more expensive, much faster, and probably more robust. For example - some hardware RAIDs allow the replacement of failed drives without removing power.

HTH!

Regards,

Daniel
 
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