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Adaptec Series 7 Enterprise RAID Controllers with PCIe 3.0 Preview - New Functionalities

Adaptec releases their new Series 7 family of RAID controllers. We take a look at them in this preview.

| RAID/HBA in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Sep 5, 2012 9:00 pm
Manufacturer: Adaptec by PMC

New Functionalities

 

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With all 16 SAS ports able to function at full speed, the end result is that Adaptec will have the capability to saturate an x8 PCIe 3.0 connection with full bandwidth. The 8GB/s provided by the x8 PCIe 3.0 connection is before the overhead and other calculations are taken into consideration. After overhead, this leaves us with the 6600MB/s (6.44GB/s) of bandwidth that the controller will deliver.

 

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Another new function that Adaptec feels will be very popular is the addition of the "One Click Setup". This adds ease of configurability, with the option for automatic setup for both physical and logical volumes.

 

Three configuration modes will be available with this series of controllers:

 

Physical drive mode: This configures the drive in a pass-through configuration, much like an HBA. There will be no addition of metadata to the drive and no use of the DRAM caching.

 

Simple volume mode: This allows the drive to utilize the DRAM caching and configures metadata onto the drive. This is a value added proposition that gives HBA functionality with DRAM caching and the protection of supercaps.

 

RAID: Provides the full set of options for manually configuring all RAID parameters.

 

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MaxCache 3.0 allows for caching of large HDD volumes in an SSD cache pool. Adaptec has also expanded MaxCache to introduce protection from SSD failure via redundancy with RAID 1 and RAID 5.

 

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This new approach of forming a cache pool allows for much more flexibility when configuring the attached flash. This interesting approach will help to maximize the investment in flash-based solutions by also allowing the pool to have usable volumes or even boot volumes. This could allow for some interesting tiering configurations as well.

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