What is RAID on Synology NAS?
What is RAID?
RAID stands for redundant array of inexpensive/independent disks. It's a group of independent drives that operate as a fused single array. You can think of it as two or more drives joined together to create a single pool of storage. This method helps to improve performance as well as offer redundancy in case a drive fails.
Should a drive fail and it's not configured in a RAID, you'll run the risk of losing stored data. When using RAID, we safeguard ourselves against such issues by reserving a portion of the total storage capacity for localized backups. If a drive fails and needs to be replaced, the stored backup data could then be used to recreate the storage volume.
Why you should use it on NAS
There are actually a few levels of RAID, depending on how many drives you plan on using, what kind of data redundancy is required, and total volume capacity.
|RAID||Drives required||Tolerable drive failures||Data redundancy||Capacity||Notes|
|Basic||1||0||—||HDD size||No protection|
|SHR||1||0-2||✓||Varies||No protection with single drive SHR|
|RAID 0||2||0||—||HDD size||No protection|
|RAID 1||2||1-3||✓||HDD # -1 x smallest HDD size||Row 3 - Cell 5|
|RAID 5||3||1||✓||HDD # -2 x smallest HDD size||Row 4 - Cell 5|
|RAID 6||4||2||✓||HDD # -2 x smallest HDD size||Row 5 - Cell 5|
|RAID 10||4||2+||✓||HDD # -1 x smallest HDD size||HDDs must be even number, tolerable to half the number of HDDs|
The best RAID for Synology NAS largely comes down to the number of drives, but Synology's Hybrid RAID (SHR) is usually the best choice. It doesn't matter which enclosure you choose, even the best NAS for home requires some form of data redundancy or means for backup.
Best NAS HDD
Seagate has a substantial collection of drives that are specifically designed for use inside NAS. The higher-capacity drives even have faster motors.
Best NAS SSD
This range of official SSDs from Synology is perfect for the company's NAS enclosures. If you want lower power draw, less noise, and better reliability than hard drives, look no further than the Synology SAT5200.
Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
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