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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.
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.