Anybody tried a SoftRAID mixed SSD/HDD RAID4 or RAID5 array?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Makosuke, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I have an OWC ThunderBay enclosure + SoftRAID and am about to buy a second mini one to use for working data, and I'm kind of curious about the prospect of a mixed-drive-type RAID4 or RAID5 array.

    There are, of course, fancy, enterprise-grade RAID systems that are storage-type-aware and use SSDs for caching or whatnot. And Drobo's TB offerings can use an mSATA SSD for cache.

    But I'm kind of curious what would happen if I used lowly old SoftRAID to do something wacky like build a RAID4 with two SSDs and an HDD for the parity volume, or a 3-drive RAID5 with two HDDs and one SSD.

    Logically, it seems like the write speed of the array in either case would be severely limited by the HDD, while read speed would be more or less set by the SSD speed. But given that, in RAID4 vs. RAID5benchmarks I've seen the write speed in both cases is significantly faster than a single drive (almost 3x a 4-drive array, either case), I'm very curious what you'd get throwing an SSD into the mix. (Also whether you'd get the best performance with an SSD as a member of a 3-drive RAID5 array, the parity disk on a RAID4 array, or a data disk on a RAID 4 array, or if they'd all be the same.)

    However... I don't have a SATA SSD on hand with which to run any of these tests. Has anybody seen benchmarks like these done? Have SoftRAID and some drives around you'd be willing to test?

    (And yes, I'm aware that Transwarp is supposed to do something along these lines, but SoftRAID is available now, and SSDs are getting ever-cheaper, particularly if you're pairing them with 2.5" HDDs as the parity/backup volumes.)
  2. 1madman1 macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2013
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    I've not tried that exact setup, but I managed to get a disk util created RAID0 array of 3x WD Velociraptors working in conjunction with an SSD for a Fusion volume in a Mac Pro. Worked great.

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