Synology Hybrid RAID – Fault Tolerance, Benefits, and Data Recovery

What is SHR (Synology Hybrid Raid)?

Synology Hybrid RAID or SHR is a Linux-based automated RAID management system tailored to offer efficiency, flexibility, and simplicity to NAS systems. It allows users to create an optimized storage solution with high performance and complete data safety. Individuals and businesses new to the RAID concept find SHR much more convenient as it requires no prior understanding of the Striping and Parity mechanisms. 

Two versions of Synology Hybrid RAID are available – SHR-1 and SHR-2. SHR-1 consists of a minimum of two drives (corresponding to RAID 1), and SHR-2 requires at least four drives to set up the storage pool, similar to RAID 5 and RAID 6. These comparisons add to the already-ongoing SHR vs. RAID debate.

Nonetheless, SHR divides each drive's storage space in the pool (configuration) into small chunks and builds additional redundant storage.

Hybrid RAID Synology – Fault Tolerance

Like traditional RAID levels, Synology Hybrid RAID drives offer fault tolerance through data redundancy, protecting data against drive failure and data loss. The SHR-1 and SHR-2 versions can survive one and two drives' failures, respectively. Additionally, SHR manages the RAID setups dynamically and rebuilds the array by replacing the failed drives with new ones.

Synology Hybrid RAID – Benefits

  •  It is an automated RAID management system requiring no prior technical understanding of Striping and Parity to set up the RAID configuration. 
  • It is easy and quick to set up, and can be configured with only two drives.
  • You can scale it up to maximize the storage capacity by adding more drives. More task-specific RAID sets like RAID 10, 50, and 60 are available.
  • Synology's DSM offers an intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface to manage SHR. Thereby making it simple to monitor and maintain.
  • A NAS enclosure easily identifies any new hard drives added in the storage pool and continues functioning without any issue.
  • Hybrid RAID offers faster read and write speed than traditional RAID drives.
  • SHR offers up to two disk redundancies similar to RAID 1, 5, or 6, protecting data against controller malfunctions, drive failure, and other data loss scenarios.
  • SHR can mix and match hard drives of different capacities into empty drive slots and add them to the storage pool. (Ensure the replaced or additional drives meet the SHR setup requirements).

Hybrid RAID Synology - Shortcomings

  • It is exclusively available for Synology NAS devices, limiting its usage to those specific models.
  • As compared to RAID 0 and 1, it is a bit slower. However, it offers speed similar to RAID 5 and 6 drives.
  • It remains functional in a single or dual drive failure (per their configurations). However, the speed will drastically slow down until the drive is replaced in the setup.
  • A new non-SHR NAS can't install SHR RAID. There will be a requirement for drive formatting.
  • Even though SHR RAID offers redundancy, it is still prone to data loss like traditional RAID.

RAID Synology – When's Data Recovery Required?

Despite the many benefits of Synology Hybrid RAID, it inherits some of the weaknesses of traditional RAID arrays that may lead to data loss. You might need to perform hybrid RAID recovery in different scenarios, including:

  • An incorrect configuration or rebuild
  • File system corruption, leading to crashes, system shutdowns, etc.
  • Operating systems or firmware errors, making the whole SHR array inaccessible.
  • Human errors like drive formatting, incorrect drive reinstallation, data deletion, etc.
  • Physical failure to RAID Synology NAS device or its disks, resulting in data loss. (Signs include the unusual color of light bulbs on NAS devices, buzzing, beeping, ticking noises, etc.)

Synology Hybrid RAID – Data Recovery Process

No matter how you lose access to your RAID SHR Synology, you can recover your data using the following methods.

Method 1: Restore Data using Backup

Synology's integrated backup solution, Hyper Backup, facilitates you to store RAID Synology NAS data. You can schedule the Backup or do it manually. It additionally allows you to back up your Synology device data on a remote server, local shared folder, and external storage devices attached to the NAS and public cloud services or platforms. You can easily retrieve RAID Synology NAS data if there's a backup available.

Method 2: Use RAID Data Recovery Software

Since SHR is an automated RAID management system, your best bet for recovering data from it would be an advanced DIY Synology Hybrid RAID recovery software, such as Stellar Toolkit for Data Recovery. This advanced data recovery solution supports Linux, Windows, and Mac systems to recover data from RAID 0, 5, 6, and Nested or Synology Hybrid RAID drives. The software intellectually rebuilds the broken or inaccessible RAID arrays and makes data recovery possible even when you don't know the RAID parameters. Follow the given steps to get back your RAID SHR Synology data:

Select 'All data' and click on the 'Next' button.

On the following prompt, click Synology Disk and click Scan. The software will initiate the scanning process.

On completing the scan, you'll see a 'Scanning Completed Successfully' message on the screen.

Select the files or folders on the following prompt and click Recover.

Click Browse to choose the desired location. (Choose an external or separate drive partition to recover data.)

Finally, click Start-Saving to initiate the process.

Once done, your data will be saved at the chosen location.

Synology Hybrid RAID is undoubtedly an excellent choice for non-technical folks who want to leverage traditional RAID benefits and avoid their complexities. It allows users to mix and match drives of different capacities and add them into a single logical storage pool, ensuring a large storage capacity available for data redundancy. However, despite all the positives, one may still lose data from SHR. So, ensure you have Backup and advanced data recovery software handy.

Was this article helpful?
Synology Hybrid RAID offers greater usable storage capacity compared to RAID drives since only one of the largest drives is lost for redundancy. Additionally, it requires minimum guidance to configure, avoiding the complexities of the traditional RAID levels.
If you choose the best RAID level for Synology NAS setup, RAID 5 is the most recommended. It provides a solid balance between performance and data redundancy, requiring a minimum of three drives to be configured.
Based on the Striping data storage mechanism, RAID 0 delivers the highest performance of all the available RAID levels. However, it offers no data redundancy, meaning the whole array will fail even when a single drive fails.
About The Author
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Satyeshu Kumar linkdin Icon

Windows Product Manager and writer at Stellar Data Recovery.

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