Windows 10 Storage Spaces vs. RAID: Which One Should I Choose?

Share:

What Is RAID

RAID (Redundant Arrays of Independent Drives) is a technology that combines multiple drives into a drive array with huge capacity. It will utilize multiple drives to improve the performance of the drive array.
RAID can be divided into three types: external disk array cabinet (so-called hardware RAID), internal disk array card (so-called hardware-assisted RAID), and software simulation (so-called software RAID).
Generally speaking, hardware RAID is better than hardware-assisted RIAD, which is also better than software RAID.
Hardware RAID has a RAID card mounted with a RAID controller, a special I/O processing chip, and an array buffer. These devices make hardware RAID has the best performance. However, hardware RAID is usually applied in servers because it is expensive.

Hardware-assisted RAID has a RAID card and drivers provided by manufacturers. Compared with hardware RAID, it lacks a special I/O processing chip. Thus, it will occupy the CPU resources. Besides, this RAID is only suitable for RAID 0 and RAID 1.

Software RAID doesn’t have any hardware. It combines multiple drives into a logical volume only through Disk Management feature provided by the operating system. Compared with hardware RAID, software RAID will reduce the performance of the disk subsystem by 30%.
How to create Windows software RAID? Here is a tutorial.
Step 1: Press "Windows + R" keys and type "diskmgmt.msc" in Run box to open Disk Management.
Step 2: Right-click the whole disk to convert it from basic disk to dynamic disk. Right-click unallocated space and choose "New * Volume"("*" can be "Striped", "Mirrored", or "RAID-5").

If you want to convert dynamic disk to basic disk, please click here to get a tutorial.
Through the above method, you can create a software RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 5.
RAID 0 is also called striped volume. It combines at least two drives into a big volume. It not only increases the capacity of the disk, but also improves its read and write performance.
RAID 1 is also called mirrored volume. It also needs at least two drives (usually an even number). It makes a disk back up the data on another disk so that the data security can be ensured. However, the usable space is only half of the disk array.
RAID 5 needs at least three drives. It will access data and parity check information crosswise on all drives. The reading speed of RAID 5 approaches that of RAID 0. However, the writing speed of RAID 5 is slower than that of a single disk.

What Are Windows Storage Spaces

Storage Spaces is a Windows built-in technology. Users can utilize this technology to group multiple drives together into a storage pool and then use the capacity of the pool to create virtual drives named storage spaces.
How to use Windows 10 storage spaces? Here is a tutorial.
Step 1: Type "manage storage spaces" in the Windows search box. Click Manage Storage Spaces button to open it. Then, click "Create a new pool and storage space".
Note: When users create a storage pool with formatted drives, data loss will occur. Please back up data in advance, otherwise, prepare for data recovery.
Step 2: Choose a file system: NTFS or ReFS. Choose resiliency type: Simple (no resiliency), Two-way mirror, Three-way mirror, or Parity.

Windows 10 Storage Spaces vs. RAID

Windows 10 storage spaces feature can also realize software RAID to some extent. However, Windows Storage Spaces has some difference from RAID and we can't say that it is inferior to RAID. Let's see the difference between Windows 10 Storage Spaces vs. RAID.

Sockets

Hardware RAID and hardware-assisted RAID have socket limitation. The number of sockets is determined by the physical RAID controller mounted on the RAID card. However, Windows 10 Storage Spaces and software RAID doesn't have this limitation.

Management

Operating system treats RAID as one disk. If the disks in hardware RAID have different storage capacities, space-wasting will occur. On the other hand, Windows 10 Storage Spaces will not cause this problem because the operating system can still manage single drives. In addition, Windows 10 Storage Spaces has ReFS, which can make users avoid data verification.

Performance

As for reading and write speed, the sequential reading/writing speed of RAID 0 is approximately twice that of Storage Spaces simple mode. The sequential reading speed of RAID 1 is slightly faster than that of Storage Spaces two-way mirror mode. But the sequential writing speed of RAID 1 is approximately half that of Storage Spaces two-way mirror mode.
In addition, the reading/writing speed in the Storage Spaces parity mode will be much slower than that in hardware RAID 5. However, Windows Storage Spaces still has its advantages such as no fee and data protection. Users can try it. And if users are using SSD, Storage Spaces are recommended.
If you want to know more details about their differences, please click Windows 10 Storage Spaces vs. RAID: Differences and Data Protection to get the original post.

No comments