SATA Spells Trouble for SCSI RAID: Five Controllers Put to the Test

HighPoint RocketRAID 2220

Taiwan-based storage products manufacturer HighPoint has been pretty quick when it comes to adopting new technologies. Its RAID architecture is mainly based on software, which is why most HighPoint cards have not always been able to keep pace with the competition. However, the controllers usually cost about half of their competitors too, which makes them especially important for small business customers that don't require the highest performance anyway.

The RocketRAID 2220 is a 64-bit PCI-X add-on card that runs at 133 MHz. It allows the selection of write-back and write-through caching for RAID 5 arrays, while a RAID 0 runs write-through only, obviously for security reasons.

Removing a hard drive from the controller by unplugging a cable is noticed immediately; HighPoint has placed a small piezo speaker onto the controller card that allows for an acoustic alert that cannot be disabled. Subsequently plugging in another hard drive will initiate an automatic rebuild procedure for the array.

HighPoint ships a set of driver disks, which has become rather uncommon today. However, having a floppy disk is rather convenient if you plan to install Windows onto a RAID array of this controller. Also, the RocketRAID 2220 is the only controller in the test field that comes with Mac OS drivers (Tiger).