These days, there are so many RAID and hybrid configurations, you might have wondered which configuration is best for you.
Contrary to popular belief, RAID 0 is the best RAID configuration when it’s backed up to a 2nd or 3rd storage system, because it offers the fastest performance.
When you use RAID 0, you get faster speeds than any other RAID. That’s because all drives in your RAID will allocate storage to all drives at the same time, so you’re not relying on the speed of one drive alone. The more drives you have, the faster your read and write speed.
Why most people don’t use RAID 0?
Most don’t use RAID 0 because of redundancy. They know they will have faster performance, but choose a different RAID to add redundancy to their NAS. However, having a redundant drive doesn’t mean your backup drive won’t fail. You can lose all your data from a simple power outage or virus.
Here’s another reason to not use RAID 0. If one drive fails, you can’t just replace it, because the data is stored across all drives. Instead, you have to replace the drive and copy the data across all drives. This may take a little longer, but the speed of RAID 0 might just be worth it.
Why RAID 0 is better than all other RAID configurations
The obvious reason RAID 0 stands out is for speed, but it can also be used for redundancy. Most redundant RAIDS (1-9) will eventually have a drive failure and can easily be swapped by replacing the failed drive. However, if you don’t have a backup or offsite backup you can still lose everything.
That’s why I think it’s best to just have a RAID 0 configuration. With RAID 0 you create a safety net when you back up to an offsite drive. You can also have a second hard drive that can be used for local backups (every 6 months).
Read my other post on how to back up your NAS to an external drive here.
The best RAID 0 setup
For my needs, I like the Synology 1618+ or the 920+. I recommend using at least 4 iron wolf NAS hard drives with RAID 0 and have them backed up to a separate local drive. I don’t usually use more than 12TB, so my local drive is only 12TB. I then have them backed up remotely to a single 12TB drive at my parent’s home using a Synology 120j.
For the best performance, you’ll want more drives and the fastest network bandwidth. 2.5-10 Gigabit ethernet is ideal.
This seems to be the most economical and quickest way to backup files quickly and affordably.
How RAID 0 is cheaper than other RAID configurations
With most RAID configurations you’ll always need an additional harddrive of the same size that is used if a drive fails. With RAID 0, you don’t need this extra drive if you back up to an external drive or offsite backup, and you’ll have more storage for your NAS.
For example, if you’re using a Synology 220+ or 720+ you can use both bays for RAID 0 and eliminate the need for a redundant drive. You can back up your files to a hard drive that you keep in a safe box and upload backups to an offsite location at your work or friend’s home.
If one of your drives fails, back it up using your remote or local drive. This works best for a smaller NAS unit, because the less hard drive bays you have, the quicker your backup.
Pros and Cons of using RAID 0
- Much faster than other RAID or hybrid configurations
- Can be less expensive
- All hard drives must be of similar size
- If one drive fails you have to backup all the drives
- Useless if you don’t need fast read and write speeds
- Works best if you have 4 or more bays
If you’re new to using a NAS, it might be easier to choose a simple hybrid or other RAID configuration, but if you want to maximize your drive performance go with RAID 0. It’s expensive to own a NAS, and it’s frustrating to have half of those bays being used for redundancy. With RAID 0 you lose the internal redundancy, but if you back it up to an external location you keep all the same information with better performance.
Everyone always says RAID 0 is a terrible idea, but it’s really not that bad. I hope this clears things up for you.