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Areca's 24-port SATA controller - Image courtesy HardwareXL
Would you like 12, 16 or 24 ports?

Tech site Hardware XL has posted news on Areca’s new PCI Express SATA II RAID controllers. The new Areca SATA II RAID controllers are available in three models—ARC-1230ML, ARC-1260ML and ARC-1280ML with 12, 16 and 24 SATA II ports respectively. These Areca SATA II RAID controllers will also support mini SAS connectors by allocating four SATA II ports too. There’s also an ARC-1280 model that lacks the mini SAS capabilities.

The PCI Express x8 based Areca SATA II RAID controllers are based on Intel’s 81341 I/O processor clocked at 800 MHz. One 240-pin DIMM slot is available as a cache and comes with 256MB of DDR2-533 ECC. Memory can be upgraded to 2GB with another DDR2 memory module. Non-ECC memory modules are supported as well.

RAID levels 0, 1, 1E, 3, 5, 6 or JBOD are supported. Native command queuing is also supported. The Areca SATA II RAID controllers also support staggered spin-up and spin down when hard drives are not in use. An Ethernet port is also available for management purposes too.

Availability is unknown as the Areca website still states the controllers as “Coming Soon.” Pricing should be fairly high as expected of server-class SATA II RAID controllers.


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Wowzers
By RandomFool on 8/15/06, Rating: 0
RE: Wowzers
By s12033722 on 8/15/2006 4:13:07 PM , Rating: 2
One thing to keep in mind is that the large number of spindles is often geared more towards speed than storage space. If you have a data stream coming in a 960 MB/sec sustained, the data rate of a 16 megapixel camera with 2 bytes per pixel and a frame rate of 30 frames per second, you need a lot of spindles to handle the data load.


RE: Wowzers
By bunnyfubbles on 8/15/2006 4:19:03 PM , Rating: 1
24 x 4GB iRAM drives in RAID0 FTW ;)


RE: Wowzers
By Wahsapa on 8/15/2006 8:17:05 PM , Rating: 2
thats what i was thinking


RE: Wowzers
By Hypernova on 8/15/2006 10:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
With the up coming 1TB drives:
24TB of HD porn.

Think about that people, think about that.


RE: Wowzers
By dijuremo on 8/15/2006 4:43:28 PM , Rating: 4
I have actually used an Areca ARC-1170 (24 Port PCI-X to SATA II) for almost a year now on a 5U server with 24 hot swappable 250GB drives. I have 22 Drives configured in Raid6 and 2 hot spares for a total of 5TB. This is my backup server which uses stagging, keeping backups on disk for up to a month for rapid access. It also dumps the backups to tape for off site storage. I love the Areca controllers, they are fast and reliable. I replaced two 12-port 3ware cards with the Areca controller and is one of the best decisions/investments I have ever made.

Even though the system was originally purchased with old SATA 150 drives, the performance is very good with the Areca controller. Here are some Bonnie++ benchmarks I ran: http://tinyurl.com/kv862


RAID 1E
By Doormat on 8/15/2006 3:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
Thats the first time I've heard of that RAID level. Google shows that its just a combination of RAID 0 and 1. Data is striped across all the disks and then the same bits are mirrored on a different disk somewhere in the array.




RE: RAID 1E
By s12033722 on 8/15/2006 4:10:19 PM , Rating: 2
So it is similar to RAID 10 or RAID 0+1?


RE: RAID 1E
By MercenaryForHire on 8/15/2006 4:18:50 PM , Rating: 1
http://www.bytepile.com/raid_class.php#11

Behaves like RAID 10 when the number of drives is even, when it's odd, see link as I'm not going to copy and paste it all.


RE: RAID 1E
By jmn2519 on 8/15/2006 4:13:33 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think so. Usually when you see an E on a RAID level it refers to a hot standby. If one disk fails RAID will automatically start rebuilding the array on the hot spare.

In that context I would assume raid 1e involves three disks. Two for the mirror and one standby. If one of the mirrors would fail the controller would rebuild the mirrored array using the hot spare.


RE: RAID 1E
By mino on 8/16/2006 2:33:00 PM , Rating: 2
AFAIK existence of a hot spare has nothing to do with the RAID level.


Areca not reliable?
By jsantala on 8/16/2006 2:23:40 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds nice, but I wouldn't touch one for now. Why? Because a fellow across the hall had an Areca SATA RAID controller, which worked fine, except that it corrupted data. It was 100% reproducable with a simple shell script and there was nothing that could be done about it except switching to 3ware. This was also verified by our supplier. So it was fast, but at a heavy price...




RE: Areca not reliable?
By Growly on 8/16/2006 4:05:35 AM , Rating: 2
Was it an isolated case? You're the only one I've seen complaining out of many online reviews... (but then again they are only reviews.)

Yes, this card did make me cream my pants.


RE: Areca not reliable?
By jsantala on 8/16/2006 5:40:51 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if they replaced the controller or just tried to fix it, but in any case it went to service and came back just as broken as before. It was only after it got replaced with a card by 3ware that the problem went away.

Now it was probably only that one particular model which had the problem, but the fact that something like this can happen really takes down any trust there was towards that brand in my book. And a RAID controller is something you'd like to be able to trust...


RE: Areca not reliable?
By Brane2 on 8/16/2006 7:59:21 AM , Rating: 2
I have exactly opposite experience. I didn't get to know what speed,r eliability and quality are until I threw Tupperware 7506-12 out of my box and plugged in Areca ARC-1170.

Hint: Never buy RAID from kitchenware company.


You know you are a tech geek when...
By Fnoob on 8/15/2006 8:11:16 PM , Rating: 2
You build a 24TB array just to find the bottleneck point of a PCIe x16 lane.





By PrinceGaz on 8/16/2006 9:38:44 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the card only has a PCIe x8 interface (physically it is x16, but electrically only x8).

Still that gives 2GB/s of bandwidth, which would allow all 24 drives to receive a sustained 83MB/s so I don't think the PCIe bus will be the bottleneck with current SATA drives.


By PAPutzback on 8/16/2006 10:22:00 AM , Rating: 2
And that has the cooling and power for this many drives. This sounds like a great option for a media server.




By Kirik on 8/18/2006 2:37:23 AM , Rating: 2
For example: http://www.industrialpc.ru/object.php?code=750
This page on Russian, but you can look at picture...
In this case you may mount only !!! 25 !!! drives...


Areca ARC-1280 review
By E92 on 8/15/2006 4:15:11 PM , Rating: 2
A Dutch review of the Areca ARC-1280 is available on this page: http://tweakers.net/reviews/639 . The article includes benchmarks of an ARC-1280 engineering sample with 512MB cache and several other RAID cards. Benchmarks starting on page six: http://tweakers.net/reviews/639/6 .




24TB of Storage on Card
By KingofL337 on 8/15/2006 4:18:04 PM , Rating: 2
That would be crazy to have 24TB of storage on one card. You pop two of these in a sever and mirror it. Talk about a video editing mecha.




Longer than a Voodoo 6000!
By PrinceGaz on 8/16/2006 9:39:57 AM , Rating: 2
That 24-port model looks even longer than the ridiculous Voodoo 6000. It looks like it's over a foot long!




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