RAID 10 Vs RAID 5: Which one is better?

What is RAID in simple terms and why should we use it?

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks or Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. It is a logical way of putting multiple hard disks together into a single array. The principle thought behind is to expand execution, protection as well as reliability of data storage. RAID is available in different levels numbered from 0 to 9, among which the most common RAID levels are 0,1,5,6&10.

As multiple hard disk components are combined together, it’s definitely going to advantage us with performance as well as greater protection. This is a prime reason answering our question “Why should we use RAID?” However, the exact amount of advance in performance completely depends on the type/mode of RAID you are using.

Here we’re going to compare by far the most common RAID configuration, RAID5 and RAID 10 and will see which one is the best of them.

What’s the main difference between RAID 10 and RAID 5?

RAID 10 is a combination of RAID 1 and RAID 0 (that’s why it is also sometimes called RAID 1+0!)

Level 1 is for disk mirroring and level 0 is for disk striping. What is meant by mirroring and striping here? Well, Mirroring refers to the process of composing information to at least two hard drive disks (HDDs) simultaneously so that on the off chance one disk fails, the mirror image safeguards the information from the failed disk.

RAID level 0 is basically used to boost the performance of the server. In disk striping, data is written across multiple hard drive disks in “chunks”. So, in case if one disk fails then the entire array gets affected and it may result in data loss or data corruption.

As far as RAID 10 is concerned, it is composed of both RAID 1 and RAID 0 which makes it speedy and secure at one and the same time. The reason being mirroring copies all your data thus making your data secure and striping write your data across multiple disks, which makes it faster to access your data!

Advantage of RAID 10: Upon disk failure, data can be recovered easily.

The disadvantage of RAID 10: When compared to storing parity information, RAID 10 offers storage redundancy at a high cost due to 50% disk utilization.

RAID 5 is all about disk striping with parity. In other words, RAID 5 strips data bits across every disk. It has a very high tolerance for disk failures, considering that it stripes data and parity bits over all disks. Missing disks may reduce the disk capacity somewhat, however, if an individual disk is replaced the system can continue. The parity calculation prevents end-users from noticing disk failures.

Advantage of RAID 5: Redundancy and fault tolerance at an affordable price. data is still accessible if the drive is in the process of being rebuilt

The disadvantage of RAID 5: Parity calculation may slow systems down. Consequently, random write performance may suffer.

requires 3 disks + 1 spare driverequires 4 disks + 1 spare drive
4TB (Terabyte) drive size4TB (Terabyte) drive size
Overall RAID capacity is 8 TBOverall RAID capacity is 8 TB
Max adaptation to non-critical failure: 1 diskMax adaptation to non-critical failure: 1 disk
Hypothetical read performance is 2xHypothetical read performance is 4x
Hypothetical write performance is 1xHypothetical write performance is 2x
Capacity efficiency is 66.7%Capacity efficiency is 50%

Applications of these RAID levels:

With all of its advantages and disadvantages, RAID 10 is useful for applications that require fast data access not just for reading, but also for writing data. RAID 10 is also more suitable than RAID 5 for applications that require high performance for error recovery when one of the drives fails.

It is currently the most popular storage solution due to its efficient storage, good performance, reliable reliability, and good security. NAS devices and business servers usually use this type of RAID configuration. It is more likely that one or more of the physical disks will fail when the number of physical disks in the RAID is very large. Having a smaller number of hard drives on a file server or application server makes RAID 5 an ideal option.

Which one is better RAID 10 or RAID 5?

The answer to this question is ambiguous as RAID 10 and RAID 5 are different in many ways, including how they rebuild the data, which can prove to be the biggest difference between each. It is more about what suits your set-up or goal better for various scenarios.

In RAID 10, the mirror disk copies the data from the failed disk to the new replacement disk. Hence, no change in read or write operations comes with the failure of a disk. In contrast, the disk in a RAID 5 configuration the disk must read data from each other, compute parity information from the pairs of disks across the array, and rebuild the data.

RAID 5 beats off RAID 10 without any doubt in storage efficiency. Parity information is the key to RAID 5’s high data efficiency whereas RAID 10 requires more disks and is more costly to implement.

Below are some real-time scenarios to look upon which may help you when you have to make a choice between RAID 10 or RAID 5:

Cases in which RAID 5 is an ideal choice to make:

RAID in File and application servers

  • When it comes to servers with restricted quantity of drivers, RAID 5 is an ideal fit because as mentioned earlier it is a perfect combination of efficient storage, good performance, reliable reliability, and good security.

Budget and cost-effectiveness of RAID levels

· As RAID 10 needs relatively more no. of disks than RAID 5. On top of that it uses only 50% of storage capacity which makes RAID 10 a poor choice when it comes to budget.

RAID for backup and archiving

  • RAID 5 utilizes 66.7% of storage capacity which is better than RAID 10’s 50% storage capacity. As a result, RAID 5 is a right choice for backup solutions.

Cases in which RAID 10 is an ideal choice to make:

 read/write operations

· As we all know by now that READ 10 don’t manage parity, it performs read/write operations faster.

Disk failure

· In RAID 10, upon disk failure data can be recovered easily. Though RAID 10 might not be able to recover data in case of two or more disk failures but chances of two or more disk failures at the same time is negligible.

Complexity aspect

· Setup of RAID 10 is simpler than RAID 5 as it is just a combination of RAID 1 and RAID 0. On the other hand, RAID 5 setup is complex.

RAID for Production and hosting servers

  • Performance and security are key features of RAID 10, making it great for production servers and hosting servers.


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