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Accusys iRAIDer

External RAID Storage
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external raid storage

The iRAIDer by Accusys consists of a x4 PCI Express RAID controller card with a single eSATA port based on MiniSAS cabling (SFF-8088), and the storage appliance that accepts up to four 3.5” SATA hard drives.

Sequential read and write performance was very consistent in all of our benchmarks. We used four WD1500 Raptor hard drives, since these provide high throughput and excellent access times. The solution provided 310 MB/s read and roughly 300 MB/s write throughput in RAID 0, 160 MB/s read and 140 MB/s write in RAID 10 and 230 MB/s both read and write performance when running a RAID 5 array with four hard drives. The iRAIDer doesn’t even drop in performance if it has to operate with a degraded RAID 5 array (where one drive is broken or removed). However, the AMCC solution provided much higher I/O performance, making the Accusys device the better choice for desktop and streaming applications.

We received a test sample with a 4-bay chassis, but there are two other options on the iRAIDer data sheet. You can also choose between a package that includes two 4-bay chassis and a package with a single drive enclosure that accepts up to eight hard drives. Both options come with an upgraded version of the Accusys RAID controller card, which offers two eSATA ports with MiniSAS cabling instead of only one.

The iRAIDer comes with a three-year factory warranty, which we consider the minimum period for a professional or semi-professional product.

external raid storage

external raid storage

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external raid storage

The iRAIDer storage box is very solid, but it isn’t quiet. We found that the fan isn’t temperature controlled and always runs at a relatively high speed, making a fair amount of noise. We don’t recommend the iRAIDer for desktop or workstation PCs if you insist on a quiet working environment.

The drives have to be installed into removable frames made of aluminum, which have a plastic front cover and handle. A little lock allows you to prevent unauthorized removal of the drives. The entire mechanism is solid and looks reliable.

external raid storage

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  • 0 Hide
    cruiseoveride , May 3, 2008 1:00 AM
    How does this compare to a DIY Linux Software RAID? Price? Performance? Reliability?
    Unlike a hardware solution, if the controller card dies, you can forget about getting your data back since there is no "Standard" for RAID. On Linux you could just put the drives into another PC, as the meta-data for software RAID on Linux is not going to change across different versions of Linux.
  • 0 Hide
    candide08 , May 5, 2008 7:24 PM
    Thanks for the article - you have convinced me not to even consider either of these.

    RAID 10 should be faster than any individual drive for reads and writes, and it should also be faster than RAID 5.

    Something is wrong here - either with the hardware or the tests.
  • 0 Hide
    mutsu , May 15, 2008 1:40 PM
    Actually performance isn't capped at 1 cable. There are a number of solutions that have multiple connections using iscsi, some even route between the connections dynamically on the server side and you can bond the ethernet connections on the client side to achieve performance maxing out the quantity of connections on the client machine. Of the ones that we tested (day job) there were only a few that met performance needs. All the arrays max the cable(s) out with straight read/write, but the performance on a number of array's drops drastically when you staring hitting them with more clients (20+) for read/write scenarios. Of course, these solutions are only really useful if you have, say, 100K (or more. Alot more in some cases) lying around.
  • 0 Hide
    a_k_a , August 23, 2008 6:41 PM
    It's a crying shame that storage "solution" providers (and Tom's Hardware) don't look at the needs of the laptop marketshare. This would be just what I need, but the controller cards are deal-breakers.