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May 16, 2021

macOS Disk Utility Can Create Four Popular RAID Arrays

MacOS Disk Utility Can Create Four Popular RAID Arrays
Mac OS RAID Assistant
The RAID Assistant can be used to create a couple of forms of RAID arrays. Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.
MacOS Sierra noticed the return of RAID assist to Apple’s Disk Utility, a feature that was eliminated while OS X El Capitan first came at the scene. With the go back of RAID help in Disk Utility, you not want to motel to using Terminal to create and administer your RAID systems.

Of route, Apple couldn’t just return RAID support to Disk Utility. It had to alternate the consumer interface just sufficient to ensure that your previous technique of running with RAID arrays might be one-of-a-kind enough to require getting to know a few new tricks.

That could be quality if Apple had upgraded the RAID software to include new skills, however as a ways as I can tell, no updates, either to basic functions or to the RAID driver, are present inside the latest model.

RAID zero, 1, 10, and JBOD
Disk Utility can nevertheless be used to create and control the equal 4 RAID variations it has always been capable of running with: RAID 0 (Striped), RAID 1 (Mirrored), RAID 10 (Mirrored set of Striped drives), and JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks).

In this manual, we are going to look at the use of Disk Utility in macOS Sierra and later to create and manage these four popular RAID kinds. There are, of route, different RAID sorts you may create, and third-celebration RAID apps which could control RAID arrays for you; in some cases, they are able to even do a better task.

If you need a extra superior RAID software, I suggest both SoftRAID, or a committed hardware RAID system constructed into an outside enclosure.

Why Use RAID?
RAID arrays can remedy some exciting issues you’ll be experiencing with your Mac’s contemporary storage device. Perhaps you’ve got been wishing you had quicker performance, which include what is available from various SSD services, until you found out a 1 TB SSD is a chunk beyond your finances. RAID 0 can be used to reinforce overall performance, and at an affordable cost. Using 500 GB 7200 RPM tough drives in a RAID 0 array can produce speeds coming near those of a mid-range 1 TB SSD with a SATA interface, and accomplish that at a lower charge.

Similarly, you could use RAID 1 to increase the reliability of a storage array whilst your wishes call for high reliability.

You may even integrate RAID modes to produce a garage array it really is rapid and retains excessive reliability.

If you’d like to discover extra about growing your own RAID storage solutions to meet your desires, this manual is a excellent area to begin.

Back Up First
Before we begin the instructions for creating any of the supported RAID degrees in Disk Utility, it is vital to know that the technique of making a RAID array includes erasing the disks that make up the array. If you’ve got any information on these disks which you want to hold, you need to lower back up the records earlier than intending.

If you need assistance with creating a backup, take a look at out the manual:

Mac Backup Software, Hardware, and Guides for Your Mac

If you are ready, permit’s get commenced.

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Use macOS Disk Utility to Create a Striped RAID Array
Disk Selection within the Mac OS RAID Assistant
Disk choice is a common system in growing any of the supported RAID types. Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.
Disk Utility can be used to create and manipulate a Striped (RAID zero) array that splits records among or more disks to offer faster get entry to for each information reads from and data writes to the disks.

RAID 0 (Striped) Requirements
Disk Utility calls for no less than disks to create a striped array. While there’s no requirement for the disks to be the same length or from the identical producer, the well-known information is that disks in a striped array should be matched to make certain exceptional overall performance and reliability.

Striped Array Failure Rate
Additional disks past the minimum may be used to boom general performance, though it comes at the cost of also increasing the general failure rate of the array. The approach to calculate the failure price of a striped array, assuming all disks in the array are the same, is:

1 – (1 – the posted failure charge of a unmarried disk) raised to the variety of slices inside the array.

A slice is the time period typically used to consult a unmarried disk within a RAID array. As you may see, the faster you want to head, the larger the risk of failure you chance. It goes without announcing that in case you’re embarking on creating a striped RAID array, you have to have a backup plan in place.

Using Disk Utility to Create a RAID zero Array
For this case, I’m going to assume you are the use of two disks to create a quick RAID 0 array.

Launch Disk Utility, positioned at /Applications/Utilities/.
Make positive the two disks you wish to apply inside the RAID array are gift in the Disk Utility sidebar. They don’t want to be selected at this factor; just gift, indicating they may be efficaciously mounted on your Mac.
Select RAID Assistant from Disk Utility’s File menu.
In the RAID Assistant window, pick out the Striped (RAID 0) alternative, and then click on the Next button.
The RAID Assistant will show a list of available disks and volumes. Only the ones disks that meet the necessities for the chosen RAID type could be highlighted, permitting you to pick out them. The typical requirements are that they need to be formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), and cannot be the contemporary startup drive.
Select at the least disks. It’s possible to pick out character volumes that a disk may additionally host, but it is considered higher exercise to apply an entire disk in a RAID array. Click the Next button while geared up.
Enter a call for the new striped array you’re about to create, as well as pick out a format to be implemented to the array. You can also pick a “Chunk size.” The chew size must loosely match the fundamental length of statistics your array could be dealing with. As an instance: If the RAID array is being used to speed up the macOS operating gadget, a piece length of 32K or 64K would work well, due to the fact that most gadget files are usually small in length. If you’ll be the use of the striped array to host your video or multimedia tasks, the most important available chew length can be a better desire.
Warning: Before you click the Next button, be conscious that every disk you’ve got selected to be a part of this striped array may be erased and formatted, causing all current facts at the drives to be misplaced.
Click the Next button while ready.
A pane will drop down, asking you to confirm that you want to create the RAID zero array. Click the Create button.
Disk Utility will create your new RAID array. Once the method is entire, the RAID Assistant will display a message that the system became successful, and your new striped array could be installed on your Mac’s laptop.

Deleting a RAID zero Array
Should you ever decide you now not need the striped RAID array you created, Disk Utility can remove the array, breaking it back down to the man or woman disks, which you could then use as you spot fit.

Launch Disk Utility.
In the Disk Utility sidebar, select the striped array you desire to take away. The sidebar would not display the disk types, so that you’ll need to pick out by the disk name. You can verify it is the appropriate disk by looking at the Info panel (the decrease right-hand panel within the Disk Utility window). The Type need to say RAID Set Volume.
Just above the Info panel, there have to be a button categorized Delete RAID. If you don’t see the button, you may have the wrong disk selected in the sidebar. Click the Delete RAID button.
A sheet will drop down, asking you to verify the deletion of the RAID set. Click the Delete button.
A sheet will drop down, displaying the development of deleting the RAID array. Once the system is whole, click the Done button.
Note: Deleting a RAID array may also go away a few or all the slices that made up the array in an uninitialized nation. It’s a good concept to erase and layout all of the disks that were a part of the deleted array.

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Use macOS Disk Utility to Create a Mirrored RAID Array
Mirrored array management alternative in Disk Utility
Mirrored arrays include some of management options consisting of adding and deleting slices. Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.
RAID Assistant, a thing of Disk Utility in macOS, helps multiple RAID arrays. In this section, we’re going to observe creating and dealing with a RAID 1 array, also called a reflected array.

Mirrored arrays mirror information throughout two or extra disks, with the main purpose of growing reliability by means of growing information redundancy, assuring that if a disk in a mirrored array had been to fail, data availability would continue with out interruption.

RAID 1 (Mirrored) Array Requirements
RAID 1 requires no less than disks to make up the RAID array. Adding extra disks to the array will increase typical reliability via the power of the quantity of disks within the array. You can examine more about RAID 1 necessities and the way to calculate reliability by using reading the manual: RAID 1: Mirroring Hard Drives.

With the requirements out of the manner, let’s get began growing and managing your mirrored RAID array.

Creating a RAID 1 (Mirrored) Array
Make positive the disks so one can make up your mirrored array are attached on your Mac and established on the computer.

Launch Disk Utility, positioned in the /Applications/Utilities/ folder.
Make positive the disks you intend to apply inside the reflected array are indexed in Disk Utility’s sidebar. The disks don’t want to be selected, but they do need to be present within the sidebar.
Select RAID Assistant from Disk Utility’s File menu.
In the RAID Assistant window that opens, pick out Mirrored (RAID 1) from the list of RAID sorts, then click on the Next button.
A listing of disks and volumes will be displayed. Select the disk or volume you wish to grow to be a part of the reflected array. You can pick both kind, however pleasant practice is to use a whole disk for each RAID slice.
In the Role column of the disk choice window, you could use the dropdown menu to pick out how the select disk can be used: as a RAID slice or as a Spare. You must have as a minimum RAID slices; a spare is used if a disk slice fails or is disconnected from the RAID set. When a slice fails or is disconnected, a spare is robotically utilized in its vicinity, and the RAID array starts offevolved the rebuild technique to fill the spare with statistics from the other contributors of the RAID set.
Make your alternatives, and click on the Next button.
The RAID Assistant will now permit you to set the homes of the reflected RAID set. This includes giving the RAID set a name, choosing a format type to apply, and selecting bite size. Use 32K or 64K for arrays with a purpose to house preferred information and operating structures; use the bigger chew size for arrays that store photos, tune, or videos, and the smaller chunk size for arrays used with databases and spreadsheets.
Mirrored RAID sets can also be configured to mechanically rebuild the array while a slice fails or is disconnected. Select Automatically Rebuild to make certain most desirable facts integrity. Be aware that automatic rebuild can motive your Mac to function slowly whilst the rebuild is in method.
Make your alternatives, and click the Next button.
Warning : You’re about to erase and layout the disks related to the RAID array. All facts on the disks can be misplaced. Make sure you have got a backup (if wished) before continuing.
A sheet will drop down, asking you to verify that you want to create the RAID 1 set. Click the Create button.
The RAID Assistant will display a process bar and standing as the array is created. Once whole, click on the Done button.
Adding Slices to a Mirrored Array
There may additionally come a time while you want to add slices to the reflected RAID array. You can also want to do this to increase reliability, or to replace older slices that may be showing problems.

Launch Disk Utility.
In the Disk Utility sidebar, select the RAID 1 (Mirrored) disk. You can take a look at whether or not you’ve got selected the correct object via analyzing the Info panel at the lowest of the Disk Utility window; the Type ought to examine: RAID Set Volume.
To add a slice to the RAID 1 array, click the plus (+) sign placed simply above the Info panel.
From the dropdown menu that appears, pick out Add Member if the slice you’re adding can be actively used within the array, or Add Spare if the brand new slice’s purpose is to function a backup to be used if a slice fails or is disconnected from the array.
A sheet will display, list to be had disks and volumes that may be introduced to the reflected array. Select a disk or extent, and click the Choose button.
Warning : The disk you’re approximately to add may be erased; make certain you have got a backup of any data it can keep.
A sheet will drop down to confirm you’re approximately to feature a disk to the RAID set. Click the Add button.
The sheet will display a standing bar. Once the disk has been brought to the RAID, click the Done button.
Removing a RAID Slice
You can do away with a RAID slice from a RAID 1 replicate furnished there are extra than slices. You may also want to do away with a slice to update it with every other, more moderen disk, or as part of a backup or archiving system. Disks that are eliminated from a RAID 1 mirror will normally have the information preserved. This allows you to archive the records in every other safe area without disturbing the RAID array.

The “normally” disclaimer applies due to the fact so as for the information to be retained, the record device at the eliminated slice needs to be resizable. If the resizing fails, all information at the eliminated slice can be misplaced.

Launch Disk Utility.
Select the RAID array from the Disk Utility sidebar.
The Disk Utility window will display all of the slices that make up the mirrored array.
Select the slice you want to take away, then click on the minus (-) button.
A sheet will drop down, asking you to verify which you wish to take away a slice and that you’re conscious that the data on the eliminated slice can be misplaced. Click the Remove button.
The sheet will display a standing bar. Once the elimination is whole, click the Done button.
Repairing the RAID 1 Array
It might also appear like the Repair characteristic ought to be just like Disk Utility’s First Aid, simply geared to the desires of a RAID 1 mirrored array. But Repair has a completely distinctive which means here. Essentially, Repair is used to add a brand new disk to the RAID set, and force a rebuild of the RAID set to copy the statistics to the brand new RAID member.

Once the “repair” method is entire, you need to put off the RAID slice that failed and caused you to run the Repair procedure.

For all practical purposes, Repair is the same as the use of the upload button (+) and choosing New Member as the type of disk or volume to feature.

Since you need to manually eliminate the horrific RAID slice using the minus (-) button while using the Repair feature, I’m going to suggest you just use Add (+) and Remove (-) instead.

Removing a Mirrored RAID Array
You can completely do away with a mirrored array, returning every slice that makes up the array lower back to popular use by using your Mac.

Launch Disk Utility.
Select the reflected array in Disk Utility’s sidebar. Remember, you can verify which you selected the correct item by using checking the Info panel for the Type being set to: RAID Set Volume.
Just above the Info panel, click on the Delete RAID button.
A sheet will drop down, warning you which you’re about to delete the RAID Set. Disk Utility will try to break the RAID array apart whilst maintaining the statistics on every RAID slice. There is, however, no guarantee of the facts being intact after the deletion of the RAID array, so if you want the data, perform a backup earlier than clicking the Delete button.
The sheet will show a standing bar because the RAID is eliminated; as soon as complete, click on the Done button.



Craig Bowen

Certified alcohol practitioner. Professional writer. Pop culture fanatic. Student. Explorer. Music scholar. Lifelong creator. Managed a small team developing strategies for puppets in Suffolk, NY. Spent high school summers building toy soldiers in Africa. Spent the better part of the 90's getting my feet wet with magma in Africa. Practiced in the art of writing about heroin in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Earned praised for my work lecturing about bagpipes in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Spent several months working on heroin for farmers.

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