What is SoftRAID used for?

SoftRAID is a disk management software application that allows users to create and manage RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) arrays using software rather than hardware controllers. SoftRAID provides an easy way to combine multiple physical disks into logical volumes to optimize performance, capacity, and data redundancy for various applications.

What is RAID?

RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is a data storage technology that combines multiple physical disk drives into one or more logical units to provide data redundancy, performance improvement, or both. The different RAID levels provide various combinations of increased data reliability and/or increased input/output performance. Some key aspects of RAID include:

  • Combines multiple drives into a logical unit
  • Data is distributed across the drives in the array
  • RAID uses disk striping, which writes data across multiple drives
  • Different RAID levels provide redundancy and/or performance
  • Hardware or software implementations available

The most common RAID levels are:

  • RAID 0 – Disk striping without parity or mirroring. Provides improved performance but no redundancy.
  • RAID 1 – Disk mirroring without parity or striping. Provides redundancy by duplicating all data on secondary disks.
  • RAID 5 – Block-level striping with distributed parity. Provides redundancy and improved performance.
  • RAID 10 – Striping over mirrored disks. Provides higher performance than RAID 1 but at a higher cost.

Benefits of Software RAID

Implementing RAID via software rather than hardware controllers provides several benefits:

  • Lower Cost – Software RAID implementations avoid the cost of a hardware RAID controller.
  • Flexibility – Software RAID allows you to use inexpensive commodity disks rather than more expensive proprietary RAID systems.
  • Platform Independence – Software RAID works across different operating systems and hardware configurations.
  • Ease of Use – Software RAID configurations are easily created, managed, and modified through software tools.

What is SoftRAID?

SoftRAID is a software RAID management application made by SoftRAID, LLC. It provides a simple interface to create and manage software-based RAID arrays on macOS and Windows systems. Some key features of SoftRAID include:

  • Implements RAID levels 0, 1, 4, 5 and JBOD
  • Creates disk arrays from internal and external drives
  • Includes monitoring tools to track disk health
  • Allows RAID arrays to span multiple disks of different sizes
  • Supports TRIM for improved SSD performance
  • Easy to install, configure and manage RAID arrays

Use Cases for SoftRAID

SoftRAID can be used in a variety of use cases where software RAID provides benefits over hardware controllers. Some examples include:

Media Production and Post Production

Media professionals working with high bandwidth video, audio, and image files can benefit from the increased performance of RAID 0 striping. The ability to combine multiple commodity disks provides a cost-effective high-speed storage solution. RAID 5 provides performance with redundancy for protecting mission critical assets.

Financial Analysis

Quants and financial analysts rely on fast storage to quickly read and write massive financial datasets. SoftRAID enables configuring high speed redundant storage without expensive hardware RAID controllers.

Scientific Computing

Researchers running complex simulations and crunching large datasets require both speed and redundancy. SoftRAID allows tailoring RAID configurations to deliver fast performance and protection for critical research data.

Database Servers

Database performance relies heavily on storage speeds. Admins can use SoftRAID to optimize storage performance for database workloads using RAID 0 striping, as well as provide fault tolerance using parity-based RAID levels.

Virtualized Infrastructure

SoftRAID provides an economical software RAID solution for virtualized infrastructure using commodity servers and storage media. This provides performance and redundancy for virtual machine files and datastores.

Boot Drives

OS boot drives are critical to overall system reliability. SoftRAID can mirror boot drives using RAID 1 to provide fault tolerance without requiring expensive hardware RAID cards.

Surveillance Systems

Video surveillance systems generate massive amounts of data that needs to be stored and accessed efficiently. SoftRAID enables optimizing storage with RAID 5 or RAID 10 to support these demanding workloads.

Key Features

Some of the standout features provided by SoftRAID include:

  • Cross-Platform Support – SoftRAID works across macOS, Windows, and Linux operating systems.
  • Multiple RAID Levels – Implements RAID 0, 1, 4, 5, and JBOD configurations.
  • Hot Spare Drives – Configure global hot spare disks that can automatically rebuild failed drives.
  • Monitoring – Real-time disk health monitoring helps predict outages and plan replacements.
  • TRIM Support – Enables TRIM on SSDs to maintain performance by clearing unused blocks.
  • Fast Rebuilding – Quickly rebuilds arrays using only used disk blocks rather than full disks.
  • Disk Roaming – Easily migrate disks between Mac and Windows systems without rebuilding.


SoftRAID delivers excellent performance for RAID implementations by optimizing disk operations. Benchmark tests indicate SoftRAID provides speeds comparable to hardware RAID solutions. Some key performance advantages include:

  • Efficient block distribution algorithms
  • Intelligent caching mechanisms
  • Minimized seek times
  • Optimized data prefetching
  • Parallel I/O optimization
  • Tunable reconstruction priorities

For workloads prone to small random reads/writes, SoftRAID includes a Quick Update feature that accumulates writes in cache and flushes them sequentially to improve disk performance.

Overall, SoftRAID delivers high throughput and IOPS that match or exceed hardware RAID performance in many use cases. Speeds will ultimately depend on the underlying disk media, controllers, and interface speeds.


SoftRAID provides data protection and redundancy through implementing standard RAID levels like 1, 5, and 10. The ability to configure hot spare drives further enhances fault tolerance. Key reliability features include:

  • Data Parity – Parity-based RAID levels allow recovering data in the event of disk failures.
  • Mirroring – RAID 1 provides fully mirrored redundancy for the highest level of data protection.
  • Spare Drives – Global hot spares can automatically rebuild failed disks.
  • Monitoring – Proactive disk health monitoring helps predict potential failures.
  • Fast Rebuilding – Only rebuild used disk blocks to quickly recover failed arrays.

SoftRAID also provides complete backward compatibility – arrays created with older versions are fully supported by newer releases. This prevents any compatibility issues or loss of data when upgrading the software.

Ease of Use

SoftRAID provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface to easily create, manage, and monitor RAID arrays. Some key ease-of-use aspects include:

  • Setup Wizards – Guided wizards walk through the process of creating arrays step-by-step.
  • Graphical Interface – Configure and monitor arrays through an intuitive graphical app.
  • Disk Health – Instantly check the health status of disks at a glance.
  • Email Alerts – Automatically get notifications about disk failures and rebuild status.
  • Scheduled Checking – Automatically scrub disks on a scheduled routine.
  • Easy Monitoring – Detailed performance metrics and logs for monitoring array status.

These capabilities make it easy for both technical and non-technical users to implement and manage RAID arrays with SoftRAID.


SoftRAID supports a wide range of hardware configurations and operating systems. Key compatibility aspects include:

  • macOS 10.9 Mavericks and newer
  • Windows 8 and newer
  • Most Linux distributions via command line
  • Apple silicon and Intel-based Macs
  • Internal and external drive enclosures
  • SATA, SAS, USB, Thunderbolt, and FireWire drives
  • SSDs, HDDs, and hybrid drives

SoftRAID can combine disks with different interfaces and protocols into a single array. This hardware flexibility allows using any available disks to create optimal storage solutions.


SoftRAID offers personal, business, and enterprise licensing options to suit different needs and budgets. Key license highlights include:

License Pricing Features
Personal $49 RAID 0, 1, and JBOD
Business $99 Adds RAID 4,5 and cross-platform support
Enterprise Contact vendor Priority tech support and software management

The personal and business licenses provide cost-effective RAID capabilities for home users and SMBs. The enterprise license caters to large organizations with additional support requirements and IT infrastructure management needs.

Technical Support

SoftRAID provides the following technical support options:

  • Knowledge Base – Online knowledge base with documentation, tutorials, FAQs, and troubleshooting advice.
  • Community Support – User community forums to get help from other SoftRAID users.
  • Email Support – Email support requests to the SoftRAID technical team.
  • Telephone Support – Phone and live chat support during business hours.
  • Priority Support – Fast-track email, chat, and phone support for enterprise customers.

Paid license holders get access to email, phone, and live chat support while community forums are available for free users. Enterprise customers can purchase premium priority support services.


SoftRAID provides a flexible and cost-effective software RAID management platform for a wide range of applications. Key use cases include media production, financial analysis, scientific computing, virtualized infrastructure, database servers, boot drives, and surveillance systems.

Key capabilities include supporting RAID levels 0, 1, 4, 5, and JBOD, monitoring tools, fast rebuilding, TRIM support, and cross-platform functionality. SoftRAID delivers excellent performance and redundancy comparable to hardware RAID controllers.

Intuitive management tools make it easy for both technical and non-technical users to setup, manage, and monitor RAID arrays. SoftRAID supports a wide range of hardware configurations across Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems.

Overall, SoftRAID is a great solution for any application requiring the performance, redundancy, and flexibility of a software-defined RAID subsystem.