SMB RAID for $49: Ciprico VST Pro

…or RAIDCore Controllers with VST Pro

Ciprico offers controller models based on a PCI-X interface with eight internal SAS/SATA ports (RC5152-08) and two versions with PCI Express with eight or four SAS/SATA ports (RC5252-08, RC-525204). The cards are based on rather simple controller hardware, as they also require the RAIDCore/Fulcrum software architecture to operate. You can purchase the RC5000 cards stand-alone or get a bundle of the VST Pro 2008 software and one of the controllers. The PCI Express models RC5252-08 and RC5252-04 are also available with VST Pro 2008, while the PCI-X model is not. The bundles, however, do not provide a better value, as the bundle price is a simple addition of the controller cost ($149 for the 4-port model and $359 for 8 ports) and the software price of $49.

Some people might wonder why eight ports are the maximum in the Ciprico portfolio, knowing that other vendors, such as Areca, have stepped up to 16 and even 24 ports. The answer can be found by looking at the Fulcrum/RAIDCore software layer: it does not make sense to build an expensive 16-port host adapter if you can easily combine two 8-port cards that are rather affordable.

You can find more information on the host adapters on Ciprico’s product page. We also recommend checking out our full review of the RC5252-8.