SoftRAID 7.0 is the next major release of the software based RAID solution owned by OWC. It now supports macOS 13 (Ventura) and incorporates many architectural changes required for future versions of macOS.
SoftRAID has always been an excellent app if you wanted to run a RAID on a disk box of which the hardware doesn’t support it. SoftRAID was better than Apple RAID. It was much faster and offered better stability. Nowadays, Apple RAID is almost as good as SoftRAID. Almost.
True, SoftRAID isn’t that much faster than Apple RAID is, but it offers a whole range of features that aren’t in Apple RAID. For example, SoftRAID has a background module that checks on the health of your disks, not just the ones that are managed by SoftRAID. And yes, it’s true what I read in a subreddit a couple of weeks ago. You can check your drives’ health with DriveDx and that will tell you everything it can find out about those disks and SSDs and drives.
However, the trouble with DriveDx — and I reviewed it some time ago — is that it doesn’t monitor your drives constantly. It relies on you not forgetting to check your drives on a regular basis. And most of us forget, because we’ve got better things to do, right? I for sure don’t use DriveDx weekly or even monthly. I only use it when I think there’s a problem, and in most cases, if there is one, it will be too late.
SoftRAID’s checking system works in the background and the good news is that it doesn’t slow down your system. It doesn’t hog your CPU, nor your memory. And it’s very stable. Over the years I’ve had one instance of a bug and that was solved a couple of days after having informed the developer of it.
SoftRAID 7.0 has the same features as the previous version, but the new driver has undergone a source code review by an outside team of macOS security experts as part of a continued emphasis on providing a reliable storage solution.
And SoftRAID 7.0 also introduces a new Update Support Plan which allows you to get upgrades and support into the future.
To profit from version 7’s new functionality and security, and if you are a SoftRAID 6 user, you will have to obtain a SoftRAID 7 serial number to use the new version. Many users will qualify for a free upgrade to version 7, but the press release didn’t tell how far back this free offer goes. To determine your free upgrade eligibility, you need to visit the SoftRAID upgrade page.
I don’t have a Windows PC, but the news release stated that SoftRAID now offers improved support for SoftRAID for Windows.
For Mac users a warning was issued that versions 6.1 and earlier of SoftRAID for Mac do not correctly support a stripe unit size of 64 KB on RAID 4 or 5 volumes. You must upgrade the SoftRAID driver on your Mac to version 6.2 or later before attaching these volumes or a kernel panic will occur.