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Pair RAID levels for a balance of performance and redundancy
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03/07/2013- Data management often includes RAID because users want to be sure that their data they are working with won't be corrupted, damaged or lost. Redundancy is the key notion when it comes to data production. On the other hand, some users opt and set up their NAS for better performance gains. Nested RAID (hybrid RAID) is the solution for those who seek both performance and redundancy. Although this configuration is less common, it presents a big advantage compared to single RAID configuration. In short, Nested RAID presents a balance between performance and redundancy level array. 

Nested RAID: Intro 

Common Nested RAID configuration are RAID-01 and RAID-10, we'll use these configurations to go into more details about benefits and requirements of Nested RAID. To elaborate, the number on the left is the lowest RAID and the right number is the top RAID. In most cases, RAID 0 is preferred on top and redundancy is on bottom given that fewer disks are needed to rebuild if disk failure occurs. 

RAID-10 and RAID-01: characteristics 


  • Redundancy on top of Performance
  • Only 50% of storage is usable
  • Requires a minimum of four drives
  • All disks are required to rebuild, if one disk fails then the whole array will become RAID-0.


  • Performance on top of redundancy
  • Only 50% of storage is usable
  • Requires a minimum of four drives and limited scalability
  • Only one disk is involved to rebuild

To review 

Nested RAID configurations allow the ability to add enhancements compared to standard RAID levels. This configuration opens doors for NAS users who seek something different than the standard RAID levels but users should be aware that there are some downsides as well. 

A concept that comes to mind is, “give a little here, take a little there” since getting more performance or redundancy sacrifices storage space, minimum requirement of disks, or if a disk fails data is lost for RAID-01 to name a few. 

To add, Nested RAID is not only restricted to two digits, they can use “RAID-XYZ” if appliance allows. Overall, Nested RAID offers more flexibility to NAS users as some opt for a balance between performance and redundancy instead of a single RAID array. 

About Thecus®
Established in 2004, Thecus Technology Corp provides market leading network attached storage and network video recorder solutions, committed to revolutionize how everyone from home user to enterprise level business centrally stores, manages and accesses their digital data both onsite and cloud-based. Thecus strives to deliver continuous innovation through cutting edge technology and design to provide data storage with the most customer-friendly platform, rapid performance and robust security. In May 2016, Thecus was formally acquired by Ennoconn Corporation and thus became part of the Foxconn IPC Technology group. Partnered together this diverse group of companies work in tandem to provide a total IoT (Internet of Things) solution. Now with an unparalleled portfolio to work with, Thecus is collaborating to bring unprecedented change to the network storage industry.