RAID 1+0, otherwise known as RAID 10 requires at least four hard drives to work.
Unlike RAID 5 whereby the user will experience data loss if two hard disks fail, RAID 10 can cope with multiple failures with only a minimal impact on performance. Whilst you may think the chances of two or more disks failing is remote, it is certainly not.
RAID arrays use identical disks to maintain disk geometry. However this does mean that any manufacturing defects are likely to be evident across all disks in the array. If a hard drive fails, the strain on the others can often cause multiple failures.
The advantages of RAID 10 are clear. Higher performance combined with greater stability is one of the most important. Indeed, all disks in a single mirror have to fail for the system to collapse. Similarly, striping larger mirror sets also allows users to create larger virtual drives. Data can be read back from more than one disk simultaneously, meaning that read speeds are drastically improved.
In contrast, it should be remembered that mirroring means the data must be written twice. RAID 10 quite simply eats disk space, cutting what’s available in half! Also an additional disk drive is required for the mirror set which does effect the write speeds. Yet hard disks are cheap in comparison to data recovery services and this is often a sacrifice many users are willing to take to protect their data.
Setting up RAID 10 couldn’t be easier. We suggest two methods – software RAID and FakeRAID. Software RAID is driven by the operating system which handles all the logic. Fake RAID on the other hand is implemented at BIOS level and is often denoted by motherboard manufacturers. Always use hard drives of identical make, model, interface and capacity, ensuring they are flashed with the latest firmware. If you are using FakeRAID, make sure your motherboard has the ‘on board RAID’ feature. Unlike other RAID levels, Windows has no obvious options for creating RAID 10. So the user has to combine RAID 1 created in Storage Spaces and RAID 0 in the Disk Management utility. It may take a while to format the disks, but it is a straight forward process.