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HighPoint Rocket 750 Enterprise HBA Review

HighPoint Rocket 750 Enterprise HBA Review
HighPoint Technologies leverages Marvell controllers in its Rocket 750 HBA RAID controller. Read on as Paul gives us his full opinion on this product.
By: Paul Alcorn | RAID/HBA in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jun 19, 2014 2:00 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: HighPoint Technologies





HighPoint Technologies has been developing and bringing to market value-oriented RAID and HBA solutions for both consumer and enterprise applications for over 19 years. The venerable Rocket series began in the mid-1990s, yet it continues to evolve and bear fruit for HighPoint Technologies. HighPoint has been developing RAID and HBA system for over 15 years and prides itself on rapidly developing and deploying solutions for its customers.


The Rocket 750 is a good example of HighPoint's engineering team developing a solution targeted specifically to address a growing market segment. The massive proliferation of information in the datacenter has led to new densely packed servers that house a staggering number of drives in a small footprint. These dense applications can house upwards of 40 HDDs per enclosure. Connecting those drives to the host can create a massive challenge.


Most HBAs offer from anywhere from eight to 16 ports, and several HBAs are required per high-density chassis. Each individual HBA consumes power, takes space, generates heat, and requires several PCIe slots in the server. The distributed method of drive connection for multiple HBAs also presents wire management challenges.


The HighPoint Technologies Rocket 750 addresses these challenges by providing the connectivity of several traditional HBAs on one device that can handle up to forty HDDs. One impressive specification that stands out on the Rocket 750 is its 11W power consumption. This provides connectivity for four drives per watt of energy consumed. Many 8-port HBAs consume roughly 10 watts, which is over one watt per device. The enhanced power efficiency of the Rocket 750 will pay big dividends in large-scale deployments. This also results in less heat generation, which provides the peripheral advantage of lower cooling costs.


The HighPoint Rocket 750 has conservative performance specifications of 2 GB/s read and write. There are also no publicly released IOPS expectations. The intended market for the HighPoint Rocket 750 necessitates performance limitations that reflect the environment the HBA is designed for. The 750 is used in bulk storage environments with HDDs, so any cutting-edge performance specs would merely be wasted money for customers. In this case, right sizing the solution to the environment is crucial to delivering a refined cost-to-performance ratio.


HDDs provide solid sequential performance, but aren't known for delivering blistering random IOPS. In bulk-data warehousing applications, the most relevant metrics are reliability, efficiency, and economics. By utilizing proven Marvell cloud storage architecture, HighPoint has addressed reliability concerns. Low power consumption and fewer required HBAs covers the efficiency bases, and the industry's lowest price point per-port for mass SATA storage will appease the value-oriented.


The Rocket 750 isn't commonly used in the consumer segment and is geared for ODM and system integrators. BackBlaze is one of the largest high-profile customers for the Rocket 750. BackBlaze provides their customers unlimited (yes, unlimited) online backup space for a scant $5 per month. They achieve this unbelievably low price by developing and designing Storage Pods that cram as much storage hardware into one dense package with the most economical server hardware on the market. The addition of the Rocket 750 has allowed BackBlaze to transition away from their old method of using SATA multiplier boards based on five-year-old technology, thus quadrupling their transfer speed.


The increased performance provided by the Rocket 750 has led to RAID synchronization periods shrinking from six days to just two. Utilizing the high-density Rocket 750 also simplifies the hardware deployment by removing the need for complex multiplexor board layouts. HighPoint provides a flexible software application that integrates the Rocket 750 into all Windows platforms, Linux distros, and FreeBSD. This allows for seamless management and monitoring of the attached storage devices.


The HighPoint Rocket 750 is designed to be utilized with 40 HDDs, and the performance specifications reflect that eventuality. The largest collection of matching storage drives we have on hand are our trusty pile of 26 Micron P400m SSDs. Utilizing our SSDs will do well to highlight the maximum performance of the Rocket 750, but we should keep in mind that this is not the expected use-case for the Rocket 750.



PRICING: You can find the HighPoint Technologies Rocket 750 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.


United States: The HighPoint Technologies Rocket 750 retails for $739.00 at Amazon.


Canada: The HighPoint Technologies Rocket 750 retails for CDN$738.66 at Amazon Canada.

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