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Adaptec by PMC ASR-8885 12Gb/s RAID Controller Review

By: Paul Alcorn | RAID/HBA in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Nov 18, 2013 2:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Adaptec by PMC





Adaptec offers several means of controller management. The most obvious is through the controllers' BIOS. The requisite CLI interface also provides management capability, though most will utilize the HTML5 web-browser based maxView utility. This allows for easy configuration in a user-friendly GUI. The web-based GUI is wrapped in standard desktop browser without the need for a separate software installation, allowing for easy management of direct attach or networked storage.


The manager also provides full monitoring of an installed supercap and AFM status. Initializing several devices simultaneously is possible through the BIOS of the controller, and the addition of secure erase functionality is a tremendous time saver.


The Series 8 adapters allow three configuration options for attached volumes with the addition of FlexConfig technology. This aids ease of configurability, with the option for automatic setup for both physical and logical volumes. In physical drive mode, the controller configures the drive in a pass-through configuration, much like an HBA. There is no addition of metadata to the drive and no use of DRAM caching.


In simple volume mode, the controller allows the drive to utilize the DRAM caching by configuring metadata onto the drive. This value-added proposition gives HBA functionality with DRAM caching and the protection of supercaps (if attached). The RAID mode provides the full set of options for manually configuring all RAID parameters and supports three modes of operation; OLTP, Dynamic and Big Block Bypass. The RAID mode also provides online capacity migration.



Adaptec ASR-8885 Specifications


The ASR-8885 offers a means of power backup with the AFM-700 modules. These supercapacitor-based devices provide numerous advantages over Li-Ion batteries. The AFM-700 also powers the ZMCP (Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection) feature as an add-on with most models (with the exception of the 8885E). The 81650ZQ features embedded NAND and capacitors on the PCB.


The Series 8 family consists of five SKU's. The 8885E is geared for the price-conscious and has RAID options limited to 1, 1,1E and 10. The 8885E also does not support cache protection and features only 512MB of DDR3 cache.


The remainder of the controllers leverage the full capabilities of ARC (Adaptec RAID Code), with 0, 1, 1E, 5, 6, 10, 50 and RAID 60 supported. These controllers sport 1GB of DRAM cache, support the AFM-700 modules, and feature varying port configurations listed in the specifications graphic below. A comparable 16-port model from the earlier generation controllers pulled 19.55 Watts, and with Series 8 that is reduced to 14.73 Watts. All models are covered by a three-year warranty.



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