RAID Recovery™ Recovers all types of corrupted RAID arrays
RAID Recovery™
Recovers all types of corrupted RAID arrays

Difference Between Software and Hardware RAID: Advantages and Disadvantages

Here you will find out:

  • what is software RAID and hardware RAID
  • what is differences in hardware and software RAID
  • how DiskInternals can help you

Are you ready? Let's read!

What is Software RAID and Hardware RAID?

Software RAID (SW RAID) is an array without a dedicated controller. Host controller resources are used here as a controller. Usually, SW RAID is connected to the system’s motherboard; since all the data processing takes place on the server’s motherboard, the computation and execution time of the tasks on the device increases. Software RAID can support SCSI, SAS and SATA. In this case, the performance of such arrays is not great.

Hardware RAID (HW RAID) is an array with a discrete controller (ATA RAID, SATA controller, Delta PLC, etc.). In this case, there is no additional load on the server processor and performance becomes noticeably higher. In addition, there are many advanced functions for user convenience and system protection; for example, hot-swappable drives when a single drive fails.

Software RAID vs Hardware RAID: Advantages

Software RAID vs Hardware RAID

Advantages of SW RAID: this array option is easy to install, because no additional hardware is needed. As a result, costs will also be less. The program array makes it possible to reconfigure the array easily and without any limits due to the controller. SW RAID is considered safe, because it uses only the processing power of the operating system.

Advantages of HW RAID: since the controller is used in this case, there is no load on the server motherboard and the write and read procedures are performed at high speed. Also, there is no downtime when restoring a disk. This array is more universal, as it can be used with various operating systems and can be recognized by any system. In addition, hardware arrays have a lot of additional functions and options.

Software RAID vs Hardware RAID: Disadvantages

Disadvantages of SW RAID: if you compare the performance of hardware vs software RAID, the software array is much weaker and slower. This also applies to reading and writing procedures. Software RAID does not work with disk partitions. It is not possible to quickly replace a damaged disk, because first you have to turn off the system, and this is not always appropriate or convenient. Also, a program array without severe performance loss can only use simple configurations and is subordinate to a specific operating system.

Disadvantages of HW RAID: This RAID option will hit your wallet hard, since a good and proven controller does not come cheap. In addition, even a good controller has a lifespan and will have to be replaced sooner or later. Another minus is the lack of the ability to make any changes to hardware RAID.

Software RAID vs Hardware RAID: Summary

Summarizing all of the above can be highlighted the fundamental elements of hardware RAID vs software RAID:

  • In software RAID, the controller is software. This means that the operating system provides all the array processes.
  • In hardware RAID, this is a separate chip or expansion card. This means a separate device (controller) monitors all processes. It is this separate device that allows you to increase productivity, as the use of resources takes over. In addition, a hardware RAID provides much more features and privileges for the user, making the array more fault-tolerant.

RAID Data Recovery on Software or Hardware RAID

There is no difference in the causes of data loss in Software RAID or Hardware RAID, and both arrays can still be damaged. Restoration in both cases is an important task that only a professional application can handle. DiskInternals RAID Recovery is just such an application, with more than 15 years of experience. This utility supports RAID 0, 1, 0 + 1, 1 + 0, 1E, RAID 4, etc., as well as JBOD recovery connected to a dedicated RAID controller or motherboard with RAID support from Intel, NVidia, VIA. Support for Unicode files and multi-level folders is also available.

Use these instructions for recovering files using DiskInternals RAID Recovery:

First, download the program to your PC or server, and then install the software on Windows 7, 8 10.

Open the application and enable the Recovery Wizard. Then be sure to select a specific array from all arrays defined automatically.

Next, you will be asked to select which scan mode will be used:

  • Full recovery mode. A deep scan will take place here.
  • Fast recovery mode. This refers to surface scanning.

During the scan, the current state of the RAID array, file system, and controller will be automatically checked.

Next, use File Preview at no cost. Now you are sure that your data has been restored in the appropriate form.

Finally, buy a license here for RAID Recovery. Thus, you get unlimited access to your files and the ability to export selected files to any place.

Good luck!

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