What is Raid 5?

Introduction to Raid 5

RAID 5 is a common configuration for RAID rates that uses data striping on a block level and distributes parity to all disks. During the parity calculations, there is still some overhead but since parity is written in all drives, no bottleneck can be considered, and the I/O operations are evenly distributed on all drives. Since RAID 5 strips all disks with data and parity bits, it is very tolerable to single disk failures, although this slightly reduces disk capabilities. If a disk fails, the machine must simply be replaced. Additional parity data readings are determined so that end users do not even perceive a disk failure.

How does Raid 5 Works?

  • Its work is based on the XOR gate. The three drives XOR value is calculated and considered as the fourth gate. Hence if the data from any of the drive is missing, the XOR value of the other three drives gives the value of the missing drive.
  • The stripe size is 64k for Raid 5. Hence we can say that it is the most efficient https://www.educba.com/what-is-raid-in-linux/ configuration and the performance is really fast when compared with other drives. Hence if a drive failure occurs, parity disk can be built using data from XOR values. Parity disks are distributed evenly which also enhances the performance.
  • The goal of it is that at least a drive present in the configuration should operate.
  • All disks help in performing the write requests coming from the client. Hence the performance is great when compared with other configurations. Read and write are managed evenly in this configuration.
  • Data from consecutive segments are stored on different devices. Therefore, storage is efficient and secure. Striping and parity is the unique feature of Raid 5 as this provides reliability.
  • There is no waiting time while replacing the failed disk as parity disk contains the data and it can be easily replaced.
  • If the number of drives is limited, then it is better to use Raid 5. This configuration is ideal for file servers and small applications. This is an all-around configuration system.
  • In order to rebuild the drive, it takes a longer time and this is a major disadvantage while considering Raid 5. Parity disks serve the purpose for the time being but drives are a source of concern. Depending on the speed, the rebuild may take at least a day. If failure happens during the build, then the data cannot be recovered at all. Data can be accessed while build operations are carried out.
  • Read and write operations can be overlapped while performing data parity and storage operations.
  • Standard SATA drives cannot be used in it due to rebuilding issues.

When Could We Use Raid 5?

  • For small budget applications and servers, we can easily use Raid 5. As it requires only three drives and the storage space is utilized well in all the three drives, this configuration should be considered.
  • Since the storage of the files is more secure when compared with other configurations, critically important applications can be dealt with using Raid 5.
  • Data can be accessed even if the drive fails though the performance will be affected. However, this can be considered positive while in other configurations accessing data is not possible if the drive fails.
  • Fault tolerance is another feature of Raid 5 where data is distributed evenly in all the disks. This prevents data loss and proves to be advantageous to the user.


Let us see most important advantages as mentioned below:

  • Higher performance and improved redundancy is an advantage of Raid 5.
  • If a single disk fails, the system continues to work as it takes the data from the parity disk and other disks. This will not happen in all the configurations.
  • With the complex technology, read requests are carried out faster than write requests. Parity is calculated always for write requests and hence it is slower than reading.
  • Data is rebuilt to the new drive by storage controller when a disk failure occurs. Hence while rebuilding data is accessible. Hence the process is not stopped entirely if the disk failure occurs. But it takes time to rebuild the application.
  • Data can be recovered even during the working of Raid 5. This does not stop or hinder the process though the performance is slow and takes more time than usual.
  • Many techniques are used for error correction and detection is used in Raid 5. Hence users need not worry about the errors that might occur in the drive.
  • Missing data block does not prevent the Raid from working as the parity drive recreates the missing block sooner when the notification appears.
  • Medium and small level applications are easily built using Raid 5.
  • The storage shown and used is the same in Raid 5. As it does not hide the space to be used. Storage is optimized and evenly placed with all the disks.
  • The entire operating system can be installed in Raid 5. This helps the working of the configuration smoother. Raid 5 is more of software-based and this helps in the smooth working of the applications.
  • It is cost-effective and there is no downtime or waiting time for the application.
  • Hot swapping is done for the application and parity check is done while hot-swapping. This helps the user to be clear about the parity disks number.
  • Though it is software-based, the hardware is also used in Raid 5. Extra cache memory is used to store the data of hardware in the application. Also, the maximum number of drives is 16. Hence Raid 5 can be used for systems with many drives.


It is better to use Raid 5 for smaller applications due to its storage safety and reliability. One should be careful while rebuilding the drives as it may invite trouble if not done properly. Parity and striping are the major features of Raid 5. Raid 5 is popular among all the configurations.

That is all!

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