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SATA controllers accelerate RAID 6 performance

Posted: 23 Oct 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Applied Micro? RAID 6? 3ware 9650SE? SATA RAID? controllers?

3ware 9650SE SATA RAID controller from AMCC

Designed to accelerate RAID 6 system performance, Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC) has launched its high-performance 3ware 9650SE SATA RAID controller family that consists of two- to 24-port models.

The 3ware 9650SE SATA RAID controllers employ simultaneous parity calculation, which provides faster performance in RAID 6, which uses two disks of an array for checking data compared with single-parity RAID systems. Since RAID 6 allows two drives to fail at once, it is notably slower than RAID 5. However, AMCC believes it has resolved that performance penalty.

Maximum throughput
"What sets the 3ware 9650SE apart from its competition is the ability to simultaneously write and rotate dual parity data across all hard disks," said Scott Cleland, director of marketing for AMCC. "By calculating the parity simultaneously, AMCC has dramatically cut overhead and maximized throughput. The 3ware 9650SE significantly reduces the RAID 6 write performance penalty, producing sustained throughout speeds 200 percent to 300 percent faster than competing RAID 6 controllers and more than double the RAID 6 write speed of other SATA controllers."

The 3ware 9650SE SATA RAID controllers deliver over 700Mbps RAID 6 reads and 600Mbps RAID 6 writes, which is more than double the performance of competing offerings, the company said. While 3ware controllers continue to lead the market in RAID 5, the 3ware 9650SE is being offered as the new standard bearer for RAID 6 performance. RAID 6 is tailored for many of the same types of applications as RAID 5, but is more desirable where additional fault tolerance is required since RAID 6 can handle the failure of any two drives in the array.

AMCC's 3Gbps SATA II controller devices also feature integrated/native PCI Express connectivity and its eighth generation StorSwitch architecture. AMCC's unique non-blocking switched fabric architecture allows 3ware SATA RAID controllers to concurrently communicate to all SATA drives through a pool of direct memory access (DMA) channels.

In addition, the StorSwitch non-blocking switch fabric architecture is designed to specifically improve performance, availability and scalability by offloading data I/O from the host. Also included to enhance throughput is x8 native PCIe connectivity and the company's StreamFusion intelligent cache algorithm, which optimizes I/O accesses to maximize application performance under multiple stream loads.

Enterprise-level apps
The 3ware 9650SE is targeted toward enterprise-level administrators, network designers and high-performance computing users. The advanced RAID features, SATA II connectivity, and powerful 3ware performance architecture make the 9650SE ideal for vertical applications that require the highest levels of sustained write and read performance including NAS storage, web servers, cluster servers, supercomputing, near-line backup and archival, security systems, pro audio and video applications, as well as mid-range database applications, and print and file server applications.

The AMCC 3ware 9650SE family is available in 2-, 4- and 8-port low profile and 12-, 16- and 24-ort full-height configurations. All models except the 24-port will be available Nov. 1 through AMCC's worldwide network of distributors, integrators and VARS. The 24-port configuration will be available Q1 2007.

Pricing is as follows: 9650SE-2LPL (2-port SATA II): to be announced; 9650SE-4LPML (4-port SATA II): $395; 9650SE-8LPML (8-port SATA II): $595; 9650SE-12ML (12-port SATA II): $797; and 9650SE-16ML (16-port SATA II): $995.

- Ismini Scouras

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