Unraid is one of the operating systems used by some of the biggest names in the YouTube tech industry such as MKBHD and LinusTechTips. But what makes it so special?
In this article, we’ll talk about Unraid’s unique way of storing data and why it’s so effective. We’ll also look at some of the other main features that make it the best home NAS and media server.
1. Unraid keeps your data safe
Unraid differs from traditional RAID in several ways. In most RAID cases, when you write a file to a RAID array, multiple disks are rotated and the data is spread across multiple disks. Thus, even one file can exist on several disks.
Because RAID uses more than one drive to read and write data, this results in a performance benefit. RAID also offers a degree of security. RAID5 can handle the loss of one drive, while RAID6 can handle the loss of two drives.
RAID is still prone to catastrophic failures. If you lose two drives in a RAID5 array, you won’t be able to get your data back. This is because data completeness depends on other drives. If you take one drive out of a RAID5 array and plug it into your computer, you won’t be able to see anything meaningful because the data is striped.
Another consideration with RAID is that the smallest drive limits the size of the array. This can limit how you can update the size of a RAID array. Also, it may not be possible to add one disk and increase the size of the array.
Unraid storage method
A network share in Unraid can span multiple disks, but it manages data in a completely different way compared to traditional RAID. Unraid can be configured to use up to two parity disks. Similar to traditional RAID, this will prevent data loss if up to two drives die, keeping your data safe.
When you write a file to a share in Unraid, only one disk is spinning along with the parity disks to write the data. Thus, one file will always exist on only one disk. Since data is not spread across multiple drives, you can take one drive that was in the Unraid array, plug it into your computer and see what was on that drive.
There is a trade-off when saving data in this method in that data read and write performance is limited to the speed of a single drive. However, Unraid mitigates this issue by allowing you to use an SSD as cache.
In Don’t Be Afraid, if one of your drives was about to die, you can plug in another drive and it will restore the data that was on that drive. However, if you lose more than one drive, you can still plug the remaining drives into your computer to find what’s there.
This gives Unraid the advantage of keeping your data safe.
2. Fearless is effective
Unraid may not be as performant as traditional RAID, but it is much more efficient. Power consumption is greatly reduced because all disks are not spinning to read and write data.