Both Accusys and AMCC deliver high performance in all RAID modes we tested: RAID 0 is ideal for temporary data and high-performance applications with no need for data redundancy. You’ll get up to 320 MB/s read performance on both devices, and 300 MB/s writes with Accusys’s iRAIDer and 270 MB/s on the AMCC 3Ware Sidecar. These numbers are close to theoretical limits. Throughput is somewhat slower when using a safe RAID 1+0 or RAID 5 array, but still much faster than anything you can get on affordable iSCSI SAN solutions or NAS platforms. However, while Accusys is superior when it comes to sequential performance and plain throughput, AMCC provides much quicker I/O performance across all I/O benchmark patterns.

Both products function alike: they consist of a PCI Express RAID controller and an eSATA external drive enclosure with hot-swappable drive bays. Accusys offers locks for each of the removable frames, an LED status display, more cache memory and RAID 6 support, together with an optional 8-port version, but its product is noisy and the controller card is too large to be installed in low-profile servers. AMCC offers a more compact controller card with a smoother management front-end and Apple compatibility. Battery backup units and hard drives are not included, and the price points are similar at $800 for Accusys and $850 for AMCC.

PC users with fileserver requirements and a dedicated server room where the noisy iRAIDer can operated will find the ideal solution with Accusys. Everyone else should consider carefully, as both products are very similar.