Going the SAS Storage Way

Adaptec SAS 48300

The 48300 is a SAS host bus adapter that was designed for the PCI-X bus. Still, PCI-X is the dominating interface in the server space, although more and more motherboard products come with PCI Express core logic.

PCI-X at 133 MHz as used by the Adaptec SAS 48300 provides an interface throughput of 1.06 GB/s, which is definitely fast enough, unless the PCI-X bus is being shared by multiple devices. If a lower speed device is plugged in, all other PCI-X devices have to switch down the clock speed to match this lowest common bus speed. Making sure that a PCI-X controller has a PCI-X bridge of its own is the safe way to maintain maximum bandwidth.

Adaptec offers the SAS 4800 for the low- to mid-range server and workstation space. At a MSRP of $360, it is reasonably priced and it supports Adaptec's HostRAID feature, which is a system powered basic RAID implementation. RAID levels 0, 1 and 10 are offered. The card features one internal SFF8470 quad link connector and a second SFF8484 connector featuring four external SAS links, for a total of eight links.

The card fits into a 2U rack mount server with a low-profile bracket included. It also comes with a driver CD, a quick installation manual as well as a four-port SAS fanout cable that connects up to four system drives to the adapter board.