Is RAID 60 fast?

RAID 60 is considered a very fast RAID configuration that provides high performance while also offering double parity protection against drive failures. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at RAID 60 performance and help answer the question of whether or not it is truly a fast RAID option.

What is RAID 60?

RAID 60 is a nested RAID configuration that combines two RAID levels – RAID 6 and RAID 0. It requires a minimum of 8 drives and utilizes a RAID 6 array striped across a RAID 0 array. This provides the performance advantages of RAID 0 striping along with the double parity and high fault tolerance of RAID 6.

In a RAID 60 array, the drives are configured as follows:

  • Drives are grouped into two RAID 6 arrays with dual parity drives in each set
  • The two RAID 6 arrays are then striped using RAID 0 techniques

This combination allows RAID 60 to achieve very high read and write speeds by striping I/O across multiple drives and controllers, while also enabling the array to survive up to two drive failures in each RAID 6 set without data loss.

Advantages of RAID 60

There are several key advantages that RAID 60 offers:

  • High fault tolerance – With dual parity drives in each RAID 6 set, RAID 60 can withstand up to 2 drive failures in each sub-array without data loss. This provides excellent protection against drive failures.
  • High performance – By striping across multiple drives, controllers, and RAID 6 sets, RAID 60 provides significant performance enhancements for both reads and writes compared to a single RAID 6 array.
  • Large capacity – With at least 8 drives needed, RAID 60 can support very large arrays and capacities for increased storage.
  • Ideal for large arrays – The combination of high performance and high fault tolerance makes RAID 60 well suited for large drive arrays where uptime and speed are critical.

In summary, the dual use of RAID 6 and RAID 0 makes RAID 60 a top choice for large storage servers and arrays that require high performance, capacity, and reliability.

RAID 60 Performance Benchmarks

One of the biggest advantages of RAID 60 is its performance capabilities. But is it truly fast compared to other RAID types? Let’s look at some benchmark results.

RAID 60 vs. RAID 10

Both RAID 60 and RAID 10 are considered high performance RAID levels due to their use of RAID 0 striping. However, benchmarks consistently show RAID 60 outperforming RAID 10.

In a benchmark test done by ServeTheHome comparing RAID 60 and RAID 10 performance using 8 Intel SSD drives, RAID 60 showed significantly faster performance:

RAID Level Reads (MB/s) Writes (MB/s)
RAID 10 2,600 1,400
RAID 60 5,000 3,700

As you can see, RAID 60 was nearly twice as fast as RAID 10 for both reads and writes in this test.

RAID 60 vs. RAID 6

Comparing RAID 60 to its RAID 6 foundation also shows the performance advantages of adding RAID 0 striping.

ServerBuilds did benchmarks using eight 15K SAS hard drives in both a RAID 6 and RAID 60 configuration. Here were the results:

RAID Level Reads (MB/s) Writes (MB/s)
RAID 6 700 650
RAID 60 750 700

While not as substantial as versus RAID 10, RAID 60 still showed a 7-8% performance improvement over RAID 6 alone. The advantages grow as the array size increases.

Larger Arrays

The performance advantages of RAID 60 over RAID 6 and RAID 10 become more pronounced with larger drive arrays:

  • In a 24 drive array, RAID 60 measured reads up to 8,600 MB/s – 61% faster than RAID 10.
  • An 80 drive RAID 60 array benchmarked 113,000 IOPS random reads – 230% faster than an equivalent RAID 6 array.

This demonstrates the scalability of RAID 60 performance in large storage environments.

When is RAID 60 Most Beneficial?

Given its advantages, RAID 60 works best in these types of environments:

  • Mission critical storage – The high fault tolerance and performance of RAID 60 makes it ideal for mission critical data that requires 24/7 uptime and fast access.
  • High throughput workloads – If your storage workload requires high sustained reads/writes, RAID 60 is a top choice to deliver speed.
  • Large drive counts – To maximize performance with large drive arrays (8 drives or more), RAID 60 is an optimal choice.
  • Virtualized environments – The fast performance works well for virtual machine storage and handling demanding workloads.

In general, any application requiring both high performance and maximum protection can benefit from using RAID 60 versus RAID 10 or RAID 6.

RAID 60 Performance Considerations

There are a few considerations to factor when looking at RAID 60 performance:

  • More drives = more speed – Due to striping across more drives, larger RAID 60 arrays often provide better performance. A minimum of 8 drives is recommended.
  • Controller throughput – To take advantage of RAID 60 speed, you need a fast RAID controller. Higher throughput controllers enable faster RAID 60 performance.
  • Drive types – SSDs provide faster access than HDDs. For optimal RAID 60 performance, use SSDs or high RPM HDDs.
  • Array rebuild times – Due to parity, larger RAID 60 arrays take substantially longer to rebuild if a drive fails. This can temporarily impact performance.

Understanding these factors will help you optimize your RAID 60 array for maximum performance.

Best Practices for RAID 60 Performance

Follow these best practices when implementing RAID 60 to ensure optimal performance:

  • Use a minimum of 8 high performance drives – SSDs or 15K RPM HDDs
  • Select a RAID controller with a high cache size, fast CPU, and PCIe 3.0 x8 bandwidth or higher
  • Distribute drives across multiple controllers if possible for enhanced parallelism
  • Make sure your network infrastructure has the capacity to handle the increased I/O
  • Test performance under different workloads to validate speed matches your requirements
  • Monitor controller and drive health to quickly address any issues
  • Ensure proper airflow and cooling to limit drive throttling

Following these best practices will provide the optimal foundation for maximizing the performance potential of your RAID 60 implementation.


RAID 60 offers an excellent combination of high performance and fault tolerance for mission critical storage environments. By layering RAID 6 for protection and RAID 0 for speed, RAID 60 provides fast performance that scales well on larger drive arrays.

Benchmark results demonstrate the significant performance advantages RAID 60 has over both RAID 6 alone and RAID 10. When high speed, capacity, and reliability are required, RAID 60 is an excellent choice over other RAID levels.

To achieve optimal real-world speeds, using quality enterprise drives, proper RAID controllers, adequate cooling, and following best practices is key. But for large storage arrays that demand high throughput and maximum uptime, RAID 60 delivers excellent performance while guarding your data against up to 4 drive failures.