RAID 0 Vs RAID 1 – What’s The Difference?

RAID 1 Vs RAID 0 - Which should you choose?

RAID 1 VS RAID 2

RAID 0 and RAID 1 are the most practical for your everyday consumer when it comes to data redundancy. RAID or ‘Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks’, is a process that combines multiple disk drive components into one or more logical units. Basically, RAID allows storage of data across more than one hard drive, achieving data redundancy to reduce data loss, and sometimes improve performance. The difference between the two is substantial, with RAID 0 giving you a lot more performance, however, reduced reliability, and RAID 1 gives you double the reliability, however, no increase in performance, and a significant increase in cost.

In this article, we are going to look at both RAID 0 and RAID 1 to see which you should be using, if any at all.

What Is RAID?

RAID in some forms can sound quite complex, but its main goal is to protect data from hard drive failures or improve efficiency. The most popular RAID configurations are RAID0, RAID1, and RAID5.

 RAID 0RAID 1
Main FeatureStriping Mirroring
PerformanceFaster read and write speeds, with lower reliabilitySlower with more reliability
Minimum number of disks required22

RAID 1 Vs RAID 0

RAID 0 offers something known as striping with no mirroring but technically it isn’t redundant. Stripping is when data is split evenly across two or more drives, essentially segmenting the data between the different drives. Unfortunately, there are issues with this type of RAID, as if one disk fails, then the entire RAID 0 setup also fails because the data is stored in alternative bits, making it completely unusable. RAID 0 also means you have to buy more than one drive and while you get better performance, you double your chances of losing your data with possible failures.

RAID 0 VS RAID 1

RAID 1 has a huge practical application to the average consumer because unlike higher levels of RAID, you don’t need complicated controllers in order for it to work well. RAID 1 is also a true RAID because you have redundant storage of your data. RAID 1, like RAID 0, also requires at least two drives and works by storing your data segments on both drives. This means that both drives contain all of your data, giving you no performance benefits, however, your data is essentially backed up if one drive fails.

Performance

We already touched upon the reliability for both RAID 1 and 0, with RAID 1 the only one that protects your data from a drive failure. This, of course, sacrifices performance and increases costs but what is the performance of both types of RAID actually like? Well, let’s take a look.

Read/ Write

RAID 0 offers very fast read and write speeds because the data is split between two or more drives. The transfer speeds are only limited by the speed of the RAID controller and normally, the transfer speed of the array is the transfer speed of all the disks.

RAID 1 is much slower than RAID 0, however, has the same speed when writing to a single disk. The reason it is slow is because RAID 1 is essentially writing everything twice when using two drives. When it comes to read speeds, RAID 1 again surfers in terms of performance but this can depend on the RAID controller.

Capacity

The capacity difference is obviously a big between RAID 1 and 0, with RAID 1 essentially writing the data across every drive. This takes up twice as much storage as RAID 0, however, obviously has its reliability benefits instead.

RAID 1 & RAID 0 Combinations

Combining the two RAIDs is yet another possible solution when it comes to storing data. When combining the two, there are two outcomes – RAID 01 and RAID 10. RAID 10 is a bit more widely used as it is the superior way while utilizing the same amount of drives. The performance between both RAID 01 and RAID 10 is the same, as is storage capacity, however, the fault tolerance level of RAID 10 is much more.

Combining RAID 0 and RAID 1

RAID 10 is also known as RAID 1+0 and is a configuration that combines disk striping and mirroring to help protect your data. You need to have at least four drives for this to work but it essentially stripes across mirrored pairs and as long as one of the disks in each pair is still functioning, you can still retrieve your data.

RAID 10 provides data redundancy and improves performance at the same time. It is a very popular option, with little downtime to worry about, along with high read and write speeds. The four disk minimum does bring a lot of extra costs, which could make it an overkill option for a lot of consumers.

Final Word

So RAID 0 Vs RAID 1, which should you go for? Well, Raid 1 is the better choice when it comes to reliability and if you want to lower your chances of losing precious data. RAID 0 offers greater performance, with faster read and write speeds, which can serve you well if you work with high volumes of data. Ultimately RAID 10 would be the best option of the lot, however, the extra costs that come with that probably mean a lot of users may find it a bit over the top.