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What are the RAID 5 Requirements?

RAID 5, RAID 5 requirements tech, storage technology,

RAID 5, or Redundant Array of Independent Disks 5, is a data storage configuration. It employs blocks with parity information spread across multiple disks. 

This type of setup allows you to store the same information on multiple drives. Which can be incredibly useful if one drive fails. Despite this advantage, there are minimum requirements that you must meet for a RAID 5 setup to function properly.

Top Summary: The RAID 5 configuration is very useful for businesses to set up a secure place for data storage. Its fault tolerance attracts more users, with the addition that the configuration makes it easy for data recovery. But, you have to meet RAID 5 requirements to make the most of it.

RAID 5 requirements

RAID 5 has minimum requirements to function ‌as any other device. From the number of drives to each drive particularly. Knowing which are these requirements can help you use your array without waste of space or investments.

Number of drives: minimum 3 disks.

Storage capacity: only as much as the smallest drive.

Fault tolerance: One drive failure.

Speed: faster Read speeds, but slow write performance.

Minimum number of physical drives

The first requirement when setting up a RAID 5 system is having at least three drives. The maximum disk on this array configuration is sixteen. It strips data across multiple hard drives to improve performance through simultaneous access.

Having over the minimum number of drives may improve performance depending on what other hardware you have available. Each individual drive must provide an equal amount of space. We discuss these RAID 5 requirements with the next topic.

Keep in mind that RAID 5 configurations lose the storage capacity on one of the connected drives. So, if you’re using the minimum amount of drives, each one with 1TB, you will not have 3TB for storage. Your usable disk space is actually 2TB in this example.

Therefore, the more disk you have, the more usable storage space you get.

Proper storage capacity

The most important thing to understand about storage capacity on RAID 5 is that all drives must have identical disk space. So, it can be only three disks or sixteen, they all have to be identical because of RAID 5 requirements configuration. 

If you have all disks with 1TB but one is 500GB, they all will operate as the smaller one, meaning, as if they are only 500GB. So all it takes is one small disk to make you waste storage space and investment.

RAID 5 fault tolerance

One of the main reasons that RAID 5 is so popular with data centers and large-scale computer systems is because it allows for an extremely high level of fault tolerance. 

Even so, you can always use good tips to keep your RAID array protected

When one disk fails, you still have all the other disks to rely on so there is no loss of information unless two or more drives fail at the same time. With many other types of RAID configurations, this would cause permanent corruption or loss of data, but with RAID 5 you can easily replace the failed drive without having to worry about losing any important information.

The number of connected drives on the RAID 5 array impacts its fault tolerance.

Important: If a disk on the array fails, you must replace it immediately. Otherwise, you’ll damage your entire array.

RAID 5 speed

Because of these exceptional levels of redundancy, the speeds are much slower compared to standard single hard drives or even other RAID configurations. This is because the parity information is written to all the drives in the array, which takes a lot of time to complete. 

In most cases, this decrease in speed is worth the increased reliability, but if you are working with mission-critical data that needs to be accessed quickly, then consider a different RAID configuration.

TL;DR: Overall, RAID 5 is an excellent option for those who need high levels of redundancy and aren’t too worried about decreased write speeds. As long as you have at least three drives connected and they are all equal in size, you should be able to set up a RAID 5 system with no problems. Just keep in mind that if one drive fails, then you will need to replace it as soon as possible to maintain optimal performance, data loss prevention, and reliability.

Accidents happen, and you can lose all your business data. To avoid it, you can contact our team about a data recovery plan. 

But, if you need assistance with your data now, one of SalvageData’s experts will promptly answer your request and help you get your data back.