You are ever had the purpose to RAID your hard disks for improved system performance, but did not want to pay for the extra hardware. Here is a practical solution may suit to you. You can make a software RAID system by using dynamic disks if you are using Windows system including XP/2000/Vista/7 and Server 2003/2008/2011/2012. Software RAID is just similar with hardware RAID; it only uses software instead of hardware. Typically, you can setup software RAID0, RAID1 and RAID5 through the use of dynamic disks.
- RAID 0: is a striped volume, consists of two and more disks or more to improve the efficiency and performance of disk.
- RAID 1: is a mirrored volume, a duplicate of simple volume, and it still needs two disks that provide fault-tolerant ability.
- RAID 5: it not only is able to enhance the efficiency of the disk but also provide the best fault-tolerant and at least needs three disks.
Advantages of using software RAID
- Cost: If your operating system supports software RAID, you have no additional costs for hardware raid controller.
- Simplicity: You can quickly and easily use it only by upgrading your basic disk to dynamic. It differs with hardware raid that have to install, configure and manage.
- Duplexing: Sometimes, duplexing raid 1 can implemented in software RAID but not in hardware RAID that depend on the controller.
Besides, dynamic disk provide some features which basic disk does not, when you make use of dynamic disks, you can perform the following operations.
- Create/delete and format simple, spanned, RAID0, RAID1 and RAID5 volumes.
- Extend, shrink your simple volume or spanned volume.
- When there are some errors, you could repair mirrored (RAID1) and RAID5 volumes.
- Reactivate missing disk or switch disk status between online and offline.
- Explore disk properties, such as total space, unused space and used space etc.
- Add, remove and change drive letter for volumes or partitions.
RAID was developed for data security on file server. The main ways is to have two or more hard disks in a system when data is written in one; the same data also will be duplicated in the other (mirroring). Totally, it can be used to protect data or increases the efficiency for server computer and you can flexible configure and manage it by using Windows Disk Manger.
Dynamic Disk Partition Management
AOMEI Dynamic Disk Manager is a complete solution for dynamic disks and dynamic volumes management which will help you:
- Resize dynamic disk: extend, shrink, move dynamic partition for first-rank performance
- Extend dynamic system volume to solve low disk space of C drive on dynamic disk.
- Software RAID array expansion: Increase mirrored (RAID 1) volume and Expand RAID-5 volume
- Add drive to RAID to extend software RAID 0, 5 volume without re-creating entire array.
- Remove drive from RAID to shrink software RAID 0, 5 volume without deleting entire array.