Electronic Design

PCI-X RAID Controllers Find Homes On The Midrange

A pair of low-profile, PCI-X RAID controller boards is designed for the latest serial ATA (SATA) drives. Utilizing the BC4000 RAID controller, the BC4452-H and BC4852-H boards handle four and eight drives, respectively. Up to four 2U boards can be used in one system for a total of 32 SATA drives. The 64-bit, 133-MHz PCI-X boards, developed by RaidCore, a Broadcom company, support staggered spin-up that's useful in this type of large system. Fulcrum architecture software from RaidCore comes as part of the package.

The board feature set is impressive. It supports RAID0, 1, 1n, 0+1, 0+1n, 5, 50, and JBOD (just a bunch of disks). The RAID 1n is useful when using the RAID system to implement hard-disk backups. Other significant features include controller spanning, background consistency checking, and e-mail event notification. With the drive-roaming feature, drives can be removed and installed in different drive bays. This is very handy when performing recovery on a new system. RaidCore's software can migrate data from one RAID configuration to another. Of course, SATA and these boards support hot swapping.

The BC4452-H and BC4852-H RAID controllers go for $289 and $365, respectively. Drivers for Windows 2000, XP, 2003, and Red Hat and SuSE Linux are available.


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