Adaptec by PMC ASR-72405 Enterprise RAID Controller Review
Adaptec by PMC's Series 7 controllers look to redefine the capabilities of the modern RAID controller. With a focus on a high native port count and new SAS HD cabling, the Series 7 controllers deliver an amazing 6.44 GB/s of sequential speed in tandem with 450,000 random IOPS.
Adaptec by PMC is hoping to ride a wave of resurgence into the enterprise RAID controller market with the recently launched Series 7. At the heart of this new series of RAID controllers is the radical new processor developed by PMC-Sierra, the PM8015, which boasts speeds of 6,600MB/s and 450,000 random read IOPS.
PMC-Sierra, a large semiconductor innovator, acquired Adaptec in 2010. Developed prior to the acquisition, the Adaptec 6 Series controllers were released shortly after the PMC merger. The Series 7 RAID controllers we are testing today are the first from Adaptec to leverage the benefits of the merger, with PMC-Sierra's newest ROC (RAID On Chip) providing a drastic increase in power.
The backbone of the datacenter is constructed around slow spinning HDDs and has not evolved nearly as quickly as the server platform. In the past, this has not required vast advances in storage controller technology and related infrastructure. For years the pace of innovation has been merely evolutionary in the storage controller market.
SSDs have burst into the datacenter, and this disruptive technology creates new challenges. As the sophistication of flash-based devices increases, and prices plunge, and suddenly there is an intense need for faster storage systems as SSDs stress existing infrastructure.
In 2011 SSDs provided 16GB of storage per cubic inch, compared to 1GB per inch for HDDs. HDDs also supply 4.2 IOPS per cubic inch of space, dwarfed by the 1,250 IOPS provided by SSDs. This calls for revolutionary new products to deliver not only the performance to handle mass deployments of exponentially faster devices, but products that also mesh well with the increased density enabled by these solutions. With smaller 2U servers featuring up to 24 x 2.5" SAS/SATA bays, the ability to pack as much connectivity into the smallest possible solution is imperative.
The PM8015 is a revolutionary approach to RAID controller design and integration. This new controller, engineered by PMC, sports 24 native SAS 6Gb/s ports. This is a radical departure from the current crop of storage processors, which feature only 8 ports. This tripling of native ports allows administrators to connect more devices to the RAID controller without the use of expanders.
Adaptec paired this powerful controller with the new Mini-SAS HD (High Density) cables. This new form of RAID controller interconnects is the only solution that can provide the required number of connections for taking advantage of the ROC's 24 available ports. This combination provides a revolutionary new controller with advanced cabling provides extreme performance, a slim form factor, and enhanced density that no other product currently on the market can match.
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