RAID Array & Server Glossary of Computer Terms (Letter U)

Usable storage capacity
Disk array capacity that is usable for data storage (vs. for mirroring or parity data). For example, under mirroring (RAID 1 and 0/1), usable storage remains a constant fifty percent (half of storage is always used for redundancy). This is in contrast to other RAID levels such as RAID 5, in which usable storage capacity is determined by the formula of “n-1”. “n” is the total number of disk drives and “1” is the number of disks worth of capacity used for parity (redundancy) overhead. So, as the number of disks in the array grows, the usable storage capacity percentage increases in relation to parity (redundancy) information.