Over the last ten years battery power has come a long way. I remember seeing the commercials as a kid for copper tops, alkaline and eventually what every kid with an RC car had to have, rechargeable. Recently I was amazed at just how far battery technology had advanced after visiting TweakTown's own news reporter, Zac O'Vodka's war room, only to find an AA battery that recharged via USB power. Yes, batteries have come a long way, but what is in store for us beyond battery power?
Last week I sat down with Scott Cleland from Adaptec and was amazed with what Adaptec's latest product offering that will allow RAID controllers to move beyond batteries for backing up the cache data. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, I am sure there are several people asking just what the problem is with batteries.
If you remember, back in your Tyco radio control car days going through 30 or 40 AA batteries a day was a pretty easy task. Back then no one really worried about what was going on with the batteries, so it was common to just toss them in the trash and open a new pack. Even then batteries were expensive; that 75 Dollar RC car was eating 30 Dollars worth of batteries a day. Who knows how much damage my buddies and I caused the Earth in just one summer. Fast forward to today and we now realize that batteries are not meant to be buried in the ground with our plastic water bottles and used motor oil. Battery disposal is a big concern and it costs big money when you are talking about server rooms filled with storage controllers every 1.75 inches of server rack height.
Of course the lithium ion batteries themselves cost considerably more than the AA wonders we all enjoyed as children, but just like the copper tops of yesteryear controller batteries lose their ability to perform as they should. Many controller companies recommend replacing a controller's battery every year. Under ideal conditions the batteries only power the cache responsible for holding your data for 72 hours. That is not a very long time to get a technician out to the server's location to pull the server from the rack, open the box and fix the issue.
Adaptec now has a better way.