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Summary: Hard Times For SCSI; Adaptec And LSI Flying Into The Wind

RAIDCore Unleashes SATA to Take Out SCSI
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This comparison was particularly interesting for us. What became clear to us above all was that sooner or later, SCSI has probably run its course, as its quality/price ratio is no longer a selling point. Manufacturers that still do not have any products based on SATA up their sleeves will gradually find themselves in dire straits. Particularly because SATA does not mean the end of the SCSI protocol - rather, it can be seen as a half step toward SAS.

The two SCSI veterans Adaptec and LSI logic have cut a good figure within their traditional domains and put the controllers from 3Ware and HighPoint in their place. Installation and configuration run smoothly, performance is good to very good and even management using the browser interface (Adaptec) or the management client works flawlessly. Their years of experience in the professional storage business show through in both cases. LSI is unbeatable in the write tests. Adaptec achieves consistently good performance in all respects.

HighPoint has surprised in a few areas, but is still disappointing across the board. RocketRAID 1820 is unbeaten in read speed and outclasses the competition. Writing performance, however, falls short of the mark to an equal degree. Performance on the hard drive failure is similar: Only about 5-10 MB/s remain of several hundred MB per second - not an acceptable value.

3Ware got away without any weaknesses in installation and configuration, but does not offer the level of performance that the controllers of Adaptec, LSI and RAIDCore do. On the other hand, it can keep pace with IOMeter in read benchmarks. Together with the professional but simple Web interface, the Escalade 8506-8 is still a good product.

This leaves only the RC4852 from RAIDCore, which can vie in many benchmarks with the established controllers from Adaptec and LSI and is priced so much better than them that you begin to wonder. For $350, this controller would be the obvious choice for the bulk of applications. With SATA hard drives of up to 300 GB, arrays in TeraByte dimensions can be produced at the drop of a hat. 10,000 class drives like the WD Raptor also allow services that leave SCSI configurations well behind. What would a 12- or 16-channel controller do with Fulcrum?

RAIDCore's RC4852 is a product that offers equivalent services, more flexibility and lower costs than SCSI solutions. This solution is really a viable option even for the highest standards.

According to information from RAIDCore, there are already enough customers for the Fulcrum Architecture to make more products with this advanced development very likely over the next few months. We can't wait to see how they will measure up in other segments of the storage market.

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