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Addonics Sapphire Snap-In Disk Array SFF RAID Enclosure Review

Addonics Sapphire Snap-In Disk Array SFF RAID Enclosure Review
In the market for a SFF external RAID storage solution? Take a peek at the Addonics Sapphire Snap-In, as we put it through our usual testing.
| Enclosures/Externals in Storage | Posted: Dec 1, 2013 4:01 am
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: Addonics

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As we have talked about many times, within the storage market, there is a solution for every scenario. In the past, the market was focused the standard 3.5" form factor, but as products have evolved and the market has changed, we have seen a shift to low power small form factor enclosures like the product we have in house today.

 

Addonics is a privately held company based in California. Since 1998, they have been building their product line catering to businesses and professionals offering high compatibility and complete flexibility in their storage solutions.

 

The Addonics Sapphire or Snap-In, as we will call it, offers small form factor users the ability to deploy a four drive array with flexible options such as RAID 0, 1, 3, 5 and 10. The Addonics Sapphire Snap-In array is compatible with modern Windows operating systems, along with Macintosh and Linux. Warranty is listed at one year.

 

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The scope of delivery for the Sapphire Snap-In includes the user guide, driver disk, along with eSATA and USB 3.0 cables.

 

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Looking over the front of the enclosure, we first noticed the triangle lock on each bay. Further to the right we have LED to denote power.

 

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Moving to the rear of the unit, we have the power switch to the left, followed by the fan, USB 3.0 port, eSATA port and RAID switches.

 

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Moving back to the front of the unit, we opened the drive bays and took a look at the layout. Now here is where we found a slight issue with the unit. If you notice, the first set of bays blocks the second set when all doors are open. This led us to an issue where we couldn't pull or install all drives at once, we had to install the rear drives first, then move to the front set. The simple solution to this would be to flip the first set so all bays open to the edge.

 

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To test the Sapphire Snap-In, we loaded it with four 1TB WD Red drives.

 

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Before testing, we loaded up the included driver disk and installed the RAID manager software.

 

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The included RAID manager allows you to control every asset of the enclosure rather easily.

 

GO TO TOP OF THE NEXT COLUMN ^

 

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In the image above, we are about to setup our first RAID array for testing. Notice we have quite a few options to choose from.

 

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Moving on to testing, we found the Snap-In impressive in both RAID 0 and RAID 10. Sequential read peaked at 220 MB/s in RAID 10 at QD2.

 

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Sequential write had all three array sets pretty equal throughout. Peak writes came with RAID 0 at QD2.

 

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Using our standard set of data, we ran our backup workload to the Sapphire while it was in RAID 0, 5 and 10. Rather expectedly the RAID 0 array was much quicker at backing up our data than any others.

 

The Addonics Sapphire Snap-In enclosure is a rather well built unit. Spending some time with the unit, I was rather impressed at how lightweight the unit was, even with standard hard drives installed - additionally, you could install solid state drives and further reduce the weight. The build quality was impressive, minus the small flaw we found with the drive bays, it's an overall great unit.

 

Performance of the enclosure taking into account we used standard hard drives was quite good. I feel that if you were to install SSDs, this unit would have no trouble maximizing the bandwidth available.

 

Pricing at the time of writing is set at $245.00. Availability is of question as the only place I found to purchase the unit was straight from Addonics.

 

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