Storage Accessories for Geeks and Pros

Accusys InneRAID Slim SATA ACS-75211: 2.5" 2-in-1 RAID 1 Box

The InneRAID by Accusys is available in three different flavors for two or three 3.5" hard drives within a double 5.25"drive bay or for two 2.5" drives within a 3.5" drive bay. The three-bay 3.5" SATA versions support RAID 0, RAID 5 or RAID 1, plus a spare drive. The models for 2.5" drives support only RAID 1 and, thus, are designed for data safety. We received the ACS-75211 for 2.5" SATA drives. The 2.5" drive version may not provide ideal performance for desktop PCs, but 2.5" drives have much lower energy requirements compared to 3.5" drives while they don't get as warm and are quieter.

The InneRAID is made out of aluminum and is well designed. The circuit board, which carries the controller, the SATA-to-SATA bridge and memory are on the bottom of the device. The rear part includes the SATA and Molex connectors. Users can choose from SATA or traditional Molex power connectors. It also has a piezo speaker, which the device uses to notify the user of drive failure.

The InneRAID can accommodate any 2.5" SATA drive. It can also handle different drives, but from our experience, you get maximum performance when using identical hard drives. Drive installation is very simple; you use the keys to open the drive bay locking mechanism, then open the front panel and insert the drive. Make sure it properly connects to the SATA ports inside. Also, it's important to note that the locking feature mechanically locks the hard drives, but has no other function. Hence you may open or close the bays, but nothing will happen once you remove or add a drive. A single drive is operated as is; installing two drives will automatically synchronize their content using the on-board RAID 1 controller. The advantage of Accusys' on-board solution is that the mirroring mechanism is completely independent from the host system, meaning that you do not need anything but an ordinary SATA/150-compliant port. This does not only offload the remaining mirroring workload from the CPU, but it also allows for the operation of two 2.5" drives in RAID 1 using a single system SATA port. The Accusys device performs very much like a single hard drive, which in our case was a Western Digital Scorpio WD2500.

Bottom view.

Rear view.