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Serial Cables 24-bay 12Gbps SAS Enterprise JBOD Enclosure Review

By: Paul Alcorn | RAID/HBA in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Feb 20, 2015 3:10 pm
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Serial Cables

Final Thoughts

 

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JBOD testing focuses on ease-of-use, design elements, and whether or not the device is rugged enough for the rigors of deployment. The Serial Cables 24-bay 12Gb/s SAS JBOD features rugged construction and smooth-latching drive sleds that will withstand the wears of time and many drive insertion and removal cycles. This is critical for test environments, as well as for any standard deployment. With no internal logic on our test sample, the chassis is about as simple as it gets, and the focus turns to performance capabilities.

 

12Gb/s SAS requires receive and transmit equalization, and a JBOD's primary job is to deliver an unadulterated connection between the host and the storage devices. The Serial Cables JBOD employs quality internal components that provide a low-latency connection for an unadulterated shot to the storage device from the motherboard, RAID controller, or HBA.

 

Our testing environment featured a 12Gb/s SAS Adaptec ASR-8885 connected to an array of HGST SSD800MH SSDs. The Adaptec controller is the fastest controller available with the requisite external connectivity required to interface with the JBOD chassis. The HGST SSDs are the fastest 12Gb/s SAS SSDs on the market, and stacking eight of them in a RAID 0 configuration provided us with the speed to push the boundaries of RAID performance. RAID 0 was chosen to provide the highest throughput possible from our eight SSDs.

 

With the RAID controller and SSDs in place, the key was measuring any performance differential between arrays connected via the JBOD, and the same array connected directly to the SSDs with standard SAS breakout cables. Our testing focused more on ascertaining the performance impact of utilizing the Serial Cables JBOD for high-performance lab environments. Our testing was actually quite straightforward; we noted no loss in performance by utilizing the JBOD. The JBOD provides a transparent means of connecting storage devices that leverages quality components with a good history of reliability; many of the same design elements are in place on the original eight-bay JBOD.

 

We monitored the temperature of the HGST SSDs during the rigors of random and sequential testing, and the drives remained very cool within the chassis. The Serial Cables JBOD employs two large fans that provide a copious amount of airflow, but at the same time, they generate quite a bit of noise. The JBOD is destined for rack environments where noise will not be a concern, and airflow is of utmost concern.

 

Serial Cables also included redundant PSUs in this revision, which are much easier to accommodate in the 19" 2U chassis. This provides a level of redundancy that could see this JBOD thrive in a production environment. The JBOD also supports dual-port connections, which allow for testing either failover or multipath, or use in a datacenter applications. Of course, any deployment into a normal use comes with the caveat that there is no internal expander, but models are available with different expander configurations.

 

The Serial Cables 24-Bay JBOD performed well in our tests, and delivered the full performance of the drives in the enclosure. The enclosure comes with a one-year warranty, which might restrict its use in some environments. The low cost of the device, especially in comparison to other components in this class, wins the TweakTown Best Value Award.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance92%
Quality, Design, Build and Warranty92%
General Features90%
Performance Consistency88%
Power Consumption and Efficiency94%
Overall TweakTown Rating91%

The Bottom Line: The Serial Cables SA-ENC12G-024A is constructed of quality components that are very durable. The JBOD provides unhindered performance to any SATA or SAS device used in the enclosure, and supports dual-port connections as well. Models are available with expanders as well.

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