Still deciding between software and hardware RAIDs?
We covered some of the differences between RAID controllers in our article “What is the difference between hardware, software, and fakeraid?”. However, we noticed that people were starting to use products such as Drobo storage solutions in conjunction with some of our 1U virtualization servers. Knowing that the Drobo uses a software RAID, we decided to do some research on why software RAID was becoming such an appealing option.
Time Limited Error Recovery (TLER) is a feature which helps prevent hard drives from being removed from a RAID. After contacting Netgear and Data Robotics, we were informed that their software included support for TLER. Many software RAIDs do not support this kind of feature, and the controllers tend to either lock up or immediately remove the drive from the array when it becomes unresponsive.
This is definitely something to consider when choosing between a software and a hardware RAID. Hardware RAIDs still have a step up on these technologies considering these storage solutions are just a modified RAID 5, which becomes more of a danger as the number of drives increases. However, as developments are being made in this field I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ll be seeing more software controllers which implement support for error recovery features of hard drives possibly even using different RAID levels.