SMB RAID for $49: Ciprico VST Pro

Get Top-Notch RAID Now, Upgrade the Hardware Later

As small businesses expand, they begin running into some of the same storage challenges that larger organizations have to address. The problem is that professional RAID solutions can be rather pricey, and there is always a risk that the investment won’t pay out in the end.

Ciprico now seems to have the perfect solution with its VST Pro 2008 software, which brings enterprise level RAID features to mainstream systems, while maintaining a nice upgrade path for RAID expansion or migration. SMBs might not even have to buy expensive hardware anymore.

RAIDCore is Hardcore RAID

The company has continued to evolve the RAIDCore storage architecture that we first reviewed in 2003. The article was titled RAIDCore Unleashes SATA to Take Out SCSI, which was an accurate description for the impressive feature set that was brought to the small business market by RAIDCore.

RAIDCore was then bought by Broadcom, which continued the controller product line by changing the hardware basis. Finally, Ciprico took over RAIDCore. The product portfolio currently consists of three Unified Serial RAID controllers, which support both Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and Serial ATA (SATA).

VST Pro brings RAIDCore to the Mainstream

The company introduced its software solution at CeBIT back in March 2008 and was giving away free copies of VST Pro 2008. VST stands for Virtual Storage Layer and simply indicates that the RAIDCore architecture, which has always been rather independent from the hardware it had run on, was made available for installation on various host systems. Ciprico decided to support Windows, Red Hat and Suse, and currently supports Intel and AMD integrated storage controllers. We tried VST Pro 2008 on a P45 motherboard with the ICH10 southbridge.