MILL VALLEY, Calif., Nov. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- SoftRAID announced today the release of SoftRAID Lite, a software RAID utility powered by the revolutionary SoftRAID 5 engine. SoftRAID Lite makes it easy for Mac users to once again create and manage software RAID 0 and RAID 1 arrays.
RAID 0 and RAID 1 Made Easy
Apple OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) removed the RAID functionality in Disk Utility, leaving a gap in functionality for users that want to create and manage software RAID volumes. SoftRAID Lite comes to the rescue, restoring software mirroring (RAID 1) and striping (RAID 0) functionality to the Mac, while adding the advanced disk health monitoring of the SoftRAID engine. SoftRAID Lite volumes are bootable and can be used on any Mac running OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or later.
Up to 86% Faster than AppleRAID
Reads from SoftRAID Lite mirror volumes (RAID 1), are up to 86 percent faster than AppleRAID. By spreading the reads over multiple disks, reads from mirrored volumes now approach the speed of striped volumes. SoftRAID Lite RAID 1 volumes can read at speeds in excess of 700 MB/sec using solid state disks (SSDs) and in excess of 270 MB/sec using hard disk drives (HDDs).
Comprehensive Disk Health Monitoring
In addition to enhanced performance, SoftRAID Lite features comprehensive disk-health monitoring tools including SMART diagnostic tests every 24 hours, tracking hours of use for every disk, and performing block-level health analysis. The SoftRAID Monitor runs continuously in the background, providing ongoing status of SoftRAID Lite arrays and alerts users to imminent disk failures. If any SoftRAID disk has an I/O error, or fails the SMART test, the SoftRAID Monitor will change the color of the indicator in the menu bar and display a desktop notification. This means users are always aware of the status of the individual disks in an array, which helps to protect user data.
Predictive Failure Analysis
SoftRAID Lite continually watches for key disk failure indicators using proprietary predictive failure analysis, and in doing so, can reliably predict most catastrophic disk failures up to several weeks and even months in advance, so users can backup and protect their data before a disk fails.
SoftRAID Lite offers disk certification; a thorough, multi-pass certification procedure that writes, then reads from every sector on the target disk. A disk certification is considerably more rigorous than testing at the factory, providing users confidence that all the disks in their array are safe to use. Many SoftRAID users have discovered that brand new disks fail the certification process! In fact, SoftRAID estimates 3-5 percent of all new disks will fail the initial certification test. There are multiple testimonials from users on the SoftRAID website attesting to this.
SoftRAID Lite Provides Advantages Over Disk Utility RAID
- Primary/Secondary disk implementation - SoftRAID mirror volumes always have a designated primary disk, and one or more secondary disks. This allows the SoftRAID driver to ensure data integrity in the event of a crash, or when disks are removed for off-site storage. The primary disk is used as the "gold reference" for rebuilding or any time a volume is marked out of sync.
- Support for up to 16 disks per volume - Both stripe and mirror volumes can comprise up to 16 disks. Stripe volumes will scale performance up to the hardware limits of the computer, while mirror volumes can have multiple copies of the primary disk, greatly increasing data availability and reliability.
- Support for off-site secondary disks - A SoftRAID Lite mirror volume can have multiple online and off-site disks. When an off-site disk is connected to the system, SoftRAID will automatically rebuild it to the volume. Off-site secondary disks are great for archiving mission critical data.
- Fast mirror rebuild technology - The SoftRAID Lite driver tracks when it writes to disks. This enables the SoftRAID driver to just rebuild the portion of a volume that has changed since a secondary disk was last connected. Rebuilds that would otherwise take many hours to rebuild typically take just a few minutes.
- Volume validation - SoftRAID Lite can validate any volume. Stripe volumes are tested for readability across the entire volume to ensure data is readable. Mirror volume validation compares the data on all disks to guarantee that all data is identical on all disks. Validation is an important feature when hardware begins to fail and the user wants to ensure that valid copies of data exist on all disks.
- Informative SoftRAID user interface - The SoftRAID Lite interface is both easy to use and highly informative. SoftRAID Lite displays active links between disks and volumes. Disk tiles display key disk information, such as the bus a disk is connected to, its serial number, power on hours, I/O errors and when a disk is predicted to fail. Volume tiles display valuable information on the status of the volumes (volume info, errors, mirror status, date last validated, etc.).
SoftRAID also introduces the SoftRAID forum, an online knowledge base where SoftRAID Lite users will receive technical support. The SoftRAID forum enables users to share knowledge with other users and SoftRAID support personnel will answer all questions within 24 hours. SoftRAID Lite users will have an option to purchase email support from the SoftRAID store, when more urgent responses are required.
SoftRAID Lite Availability and Pricing
SoftRAID Lite is available now for immediate download from www.softraid.com, and is priced at just $49.99.
SoftRAID Version 5.1 (Full Version)
Users can alternatively purchase the professional edition of SoftRAID. Key features in addition to those included in SoftRAID Lite are:
- Support for RAID 4, 5 and 1+0 volumes.
- Email notifications with detailed error reporting and system alerts.
- Command line interface.
- Expert technical support 7 days a week via email.
RAID 1+0 volumes are up to 67 percent faster than AppleRAID when reading data. A four-disk SoftRAID RAID 1+0 volume performs reads up to 1,280 MB/sec using solid state drives and 570 MB/sec using hard disk drives. A four-disk RAID 5 volume can read and write >1GB/sec with four SSD disks, and >525 MB/sec with standard 2.0TB hard disks.
"SoftRAID version 5.1 has undergone more testing than any previous SoftRAID release to ensure we are delivering a high performance and high quality product," said Tim Standing, VP Engineering at SoftRAID. "For example, we have performed over two billion reads and writes while testing. We have also performed more than 8,000 simulated Thunderbolt cable pulls while reading and writing to files to ensure there are no bugs that would affect data reliability."
SoftRAID Version 5.1 Availability and Pricing
SoftRAID version 5.1 is available now for immediate download at www.softraid.com. Pricing of SoftRAID version 5.1 for new SoftRAID users is $179.00. SoftRAID version 5.1 is an update, and is available to all registered users of SoftRAID 5.x at no charge. A $90 coupon is available to SoftRAID 4.x customers who wish to upgrade to SoftRAID 5.x.
SoftRAID is headquartered in Mill Valley, California, and has been developing high quality applications for Apple computers and Mac OS for over 17 years.
SoftRAID has been shipping for Mac OS X since 2003. During the past 15 years, SoftRAID has earned its reputation as a rock solid product which comes with great technical support. SoftRAID has been first to market with many key features including: fast mirror rebuilds, full email notification, bootable RAID volumes, disk certification, validate RAID volumes, predictive failure and more.
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