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Desktop Datastore: Accusys Acuta 4S

Performance: Up To 75 MegaBytes/Second

The data transfer speed of the Acuta 4S, running RAID 5 and equipped with four drives, tops out at about 75 megaBytes per second - an acceptable figure, but not stellar. We decided not to focus testing on a RAID 0+1 array, because those measurements were sure to be less interesting given the option to use a faster RAID 5 array. Nevertheless, the transfer rates we observed convinced us that there must be a bottleneck somewhere slowing things down. Our best guess is that this design leans too heavily on an earlier version built around a FireWire 800 controller, or that perhaps its XOR chip is running at the limit of its capabilities.

Customer availability and other information proved difficult to obtain; unfortunately, as we finished up this article, the vendor's Taiwanese Web site proved unreachable. Nor could we download the Acuta 4S's technical documentation from the company's German Web site, as a dead link was reported when we attempted to access that PDF document.

Hot-Swap Drives

Swapping out a single drive is pretty easy: Once you re-insert the drive cage, the Acuta 4S automatically begins rebuilding the array. For our 36 GB drives, this took less than an hour to complete, but for significantly larger or slower drives, one should naturally expect this process to take much longer.