Inside Unraid

Discover the origins of Unraid and learn about the team behind the curtain.

Side Project

01 A Little Side Project

Unraid was created like many software solutions—by a software engineer who was trying to solve his own problem. In the early 2000’s, the challenge was how to store, access, and have reliable backup for significant amounts of media. At the time, RAID technology was available, but it came with a lot of restrictions that were untenable for consumers.

1. RAID arrays had to contain disks that were all of the same size, speed, brand, and protocol, rendering them very inflexible.

2. RAID arrays didn’t allow you to expand by adding more disks. You had to build an entirely new server with more storage capacity than the original, and then bulk copy all of your data to the new system.

3. While parity provided protection against disk failures, if more disks failed than parity would protect, you lost the data from the entire array—even the disks that hadn’t failed.

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02 Addressing New Challenges

Nearly a decade after our journey began, we set out to solve a new set of challenges that were plaguing folks using desktop PCs:

1. Desktops tend to lack internal storage redundancy, making them susceptible to unrecoverable failures.

2. Desktops are susceptible to viruses and malware. Restoring from these issues can be incredibly time-consuming and arduous.

3. Having both a desktop and a storage/media server means higher costs, more space, increased power consumption, and excessive heat/noise generation.

4. Each time a new desktop OS is released, you have to choose between remaining on your working system or upgrading to the unknown.

5. Supporting multiple operating systems on a single computer can be confusing and costly.

We realized that we could solve these problems by bringing the power of enterprise virtualization technology to consumers. By building in enhanced support, you can easily add multiple full desktop operating systems to your server, and interact with them using locally attached displays and peripherals. Virtualization adds simple system backups and restoration capability, along with the ability to run multiple versions of an OS at the same time.

03 Unraid Today

What started out as a personal quest to improve media storage has evolved into the most popular at-home storage and computing solution: Unraid. Our powerful operating system allows sophisticated media aficionados, gamers, and other intensive data-users to have ultimate control over their data, media, applications, and desktops. Best of all, Unraid allows you to use just about any combination of hardware that you wish, giving you the freedom to customize and maximize your systems to precisely fit your needs.

With headquarters in California, Unraid OS is developed by Lime Technology, Inc.

Meet the Team

Tom Mortensen
Founder / CEO / COO

Tom Mortensen

I began my career in enterprise-storage at a start-up company called Maxstrat. Maxstrat was one of the first companies to offer disk array products and was ultimately purchased by Sun Microsystems in 1999. I worked for Sun in their Network Storage Division as a system architect, and later for other start-up companies before starting Lime Technology. With my passion for electronic media and background in storage, I knew there had to be a better way to store and stream media content throughout my home, so I invented Unraid in 2005 to protect and manage my media files. Unraid was a new twist on an older technology that didn’t require all the devices in an array to be continually spun up, thereby reducing power consumption, and increasing the lives of the drives. I’m very excited about what the future holds for Lime Technology as we continue to be on the forefront of digital media storage innovation. On a more personal note, one of my favorite hobbies is brewing beer. We also happen to be located in perhaps the micro-brewery capital of the world right now in San Diego County — 93 operational and 42 planning to open soon.

Jonathan Panozzo

Jonathan Panozzo

I have been in the technology industry for over 15 years, with a wide range of experience. I’ve owned my own businesses, managed a network of different websites, built partner and customer relationships, and all the while, never stopped being passionate about what I do. As the Chief Strategy Officer, I am responsible for guiding the overall direction of Lime Technology, forging key relationships, and experimenting with new technologies. Prior to joining Lime Technology, I worked for 10 years in the IT industry at a large consulting firm where I became an expert in virtualization, software licensing, and other various infrastructure technologies. I joined Lime Technology in April of 2014 to merge my profession with my passions and have enjoyed every minute of it since. Some of my other duties include sharing discoveries with our community of users in the form of blog posts, videos, and participation in the Lime Technology Forums. Best of all, I also get to help design and develop our various web platforms as we grow into a more interactive tool with valuable resources and information for our community of users!

Eric Schultz

Eric Schultz

I started out part-time working on startups a couple years ago and since mid-2011 have been working on them full-time. While most of my skills are geared towards infrastructure and server-side development, I have thrown a helping hand at front-end and mobile development. I am responsible for updating the Unraid distro and software (Docker, Xen and QEMU). I’ve also been busy improving the licensing system to streamline and automate the process. I’m lucky enough to work next to Jon and frequently join him on his mad quest to push the envelope on what virtualization can do. I’m no slouch when it comes to building machines either; in fact, I probably have enough computer parts to grant myself a segment on the show Hoarders.

Spencer Jones
Community Manager

Spencer Jones

I’m responsible for growing and nurturing the online Unraid community. This currently includes: the Unraid forum, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube, among others. Basically, anywhere Unraid is being talked about, I’ll be there to offer customer support, engagement, and to spread the word on new releases, product announcements and new, exciting ways to use Unraid! Prior to joining Lime Technology, I’ve worked in a variety of industries including public education, the coworking industry, and chasing digital bad guys while in the military. I am excited to merge my passion for community building and technology in this new role. Outside of the office, I enjoy family time, watching and playing sports, traveling, relaxing at the beach, hiking, and gardening.

Zack Spear
Web Developer

Zack Spear

As a 90s kid I grew up in the age where the internet was rapidly becoming common in every household. I always remember being glued to a screen. Whether it was playing my Gameboy 24/7, hogging the dial-up to use AOL, having LAN parties, to building my own rigs; my favorite being my first dual-boot – a Hackintosh / Windows rig. Fast-forward to getting a design internship right out of university at an ad agency in Orlando, Florida that quickly turned into joining their web dev team full-time. Soon after that I packed up my car and made my way to the West Coast. With stints in Santa Cruz, California and Olympia, Washington I eventually landed in Portland, Oregon where I worked remotely building fully fledged marketing websites with custom CMS’s for close to 5 years. One of those being Hitting the fast-forward button again, I’m now responsible for taking Unraid to the next level with a new offering that will be Released Soon™️ and managing Outside of work I love watching soccer, sipping cappuccinos, stage diving at hardcore punk shows, traveling internationally, hiking, and walking around aimlessly with my analog film cameras – currently enjoying my Contax T2.

Larry Meaney
Senior Developer / Project Lead

Larry Meaney

I was initially drawn to Unraid for its combination of power and simplicity, and I stayed because of the amazing community. I have been an avid member of the Unraid community for a number of years and I am excited to be able to make even more meaningful contributions now that I am on the team.

I have a background in small company IT, have streamlined webdev at a few startups, and spent 16 years at a large technology company leading a myriad of projects.

Outside work, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my wife and 3 daughters. I enjoy exploring national parks with my family in our popup tent trailer, photography, genealogy research, and home automation.

All About Unraid

Get the particulars on Unraid OS.