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Highpoint RocketRAID 404 Card: RAID setups has several advantages over single drives. Either they can be faster, provide redundancy, or even both.
 
 
Date: July 28, 2003
Catagory: Miscellaneous
Manufacturer:
Written By:
 


Introduction

When it comes to data storage Hard Drives are to be found in pretty much all PC's. As with any PC component they can come in different capacities and speeds to cater for the differences in user applications. If you lose a drive, it isn't too bad if you make a lot of backups, but honestly, how many of you make REGULAR backups? Perhaps you've sat in-front of your computer muttering about how slow it's loading your favourite game/application or simply begrudge the time it takes to bootup. Perhaps you've simply run out of storage space as well as the ability to add more storage space. Enter the , giving you a solution to get around these and other problems. With support for a total of 8 drives on its 4 ATA133 Channels, as well as a simple but effective software management, the 404 card can open up other possibilities as well.

Specifications and Features

RocketRAID 404 4-Channel ATA133 RAID Host Controller
As a 4 channel ATA133 RAID adapter, the RocketRAID 404 supports up to 8 IDE hard disk drives, and provides multi level RAID support including RAID 0, 1, 0/1, and JBOD. The RocketRAID 404 is a high quality, cost-effective solution for your mass storage needs.


4 ATA channels deliver high-performance data storage and retrieval

The RocketRAID 404 can support multiple RAID arrays, and the 4 independent ATA133 channels provide parallel disk/array access.
Due to the RocketRAID 404's RAID 0 and 0/1 capabilities, data storage and retrieval is dramatically faster than single drive systems.


Data security features based on RAID 1 mirroring, hot-spare, and hot swap capabilities
For RAID 1 and 0/1, the RocketRAID 404 provides disk mirroring, hot-spare options for automatic array-rebuilds, hot-swap support for swapping failed disks on the fly (works with Hot-Swap capable mobile racks such as Rocket Mate), and disk failure notification (audible alarms, visual warning messages).
These features provide a high level of security and data protection against hard disk failure.


Expand your computer's data storage/drive capacity with RocketRAID 404's mass storage capabilities

The RocketRAID 404 has 4 independent ATA channels, and supports up to 8 IDE hard disk drives. The RocketRAID 404 imposes no restrictions on hard disk capacity, and will meet the requirements of most all business and personal applications.


Windows-based utility for easy RAID configuration/management

In addition to the BIOS configuration utility, the RocketRAID 404 includes Windows-based RAID configuration software. The software provides and intuitive interface, which is designed to make RAID management easy, even for the inexperienced user.


Where would you need the RocketRAID 404?
As a high-performance, affordable RAID solution, RocketRAID 404 makes sense for nearly any corporate, retail, industrial, home, and small office environment. The RocketRAID 404 is ideal for LAN servers, critical business data storage, high-end PC workstations, video stream/video editing systems, etc.

Rocket RAID 404 Specifications

Host side interface 32bit/33MHz PCI

Device side interface ATA133 (IDE)

RAID controller IC HighPoint HPT374 UDMA ATA133 RAID Controller

Number of IDE channels 4 Channels

Maximum number of drives 8 hard disk drives

Supported Hard drives Up to ATA133

Supported RAID Levels
RAID 0 (2-8 disks), RAID 1 (2 disks), 0/1 (4 disks), JBOD (2-8 disks)
Or:
RAID 5, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10 (1/0) and JBOD

Supported OSs Windows 98/ME, Windows NT4.0, Win2000, Windows XP, FreeBSD, and Linux (SuSE, Red Hat, Caldera, Turbo)

RAID Management Tool RAID Configuration and Management

GUI Function RAID Configuration and Management (compatible with BIOS)

Additional Features
Bootable disk or disk array support
Disk hot spare for automatic mirror rebuilding
Hot-swapping failed hard drives for RAID 1 or 0/1
Error alarm with on-card beeper
Automatic e-mail notification when error occurs
Large LBA support capacity exceeding 137Gb

What is RAID?

Ok, before I show you the card I'm going to go into a little bit about what RAID actually is and its benefits. If you already know, feel free to skip to the next page and take a look at the card itself.

RAID is an acronym for Redundant Array of Independent Disks (although depending on who you ask, some will say that the I stand's for Inexpensive). RAID comes in different modes or levels such as 0, 1 or 5. The card we have here supports:-

RAID 0 - A non redundant striped array where data is written to two or more drives simultaneously, the benefit being that you can write to more than one drive at once, so theoretically, if you had two drives, it would take half the amount of time to write one block of data and spread it across those two drives than it would writing the same block of data to just one drive. The amount of storage space on those two drives is combined for RAID 0, so that two 40GB drives become one 80GB drive. The downside here is that if you lose one drive, the data on both is gone; one striped drive cannot function without the other (then again you could also say if you lost one drive in a standard one drive setup, the data is lost anyway).

RAID 1 - RAID 1 is a redundant method, the idea being that one lump of information is written to two or more drives, mirroring the same information to all, but unlike RAID 0, it isn't spread across them but written the same. The idea of this is that if one drive fails, all your data is safe on the other drive/s and can be accessed as if nothing had happened. The downside to this is that you lose disk space, in that if you had a RAID 1 array consisting of two 60GB drives, your total storage space would be 60GB. In the case of this 404 controller, we also have support for "hot spare", so that if one disk fails, the other one will automatically kick in. Another feature here is Hot Swap, which as the name suggest, allows you to swap out a dead drive without powering down the system.

RAID 10 - RAID 10, also known as RAID 0+1 is a combination of the 2 above. You have both a striped and mirrored set. This means that you will gain the speed benefits of RAID 0 and the redundancy of RAID 1, but also the loss of disk space that comes with mirroring drives. Naturally, since you need two disks for the array to stripe them, you will need another two disks for mirroring both of those drives, bringing the total minimum drive count to 4 disks for a RAID 10 array.

RAID 5 - RAID 5 is similar to RAID 3. RAID 3 is a stripe set, but with a parity drive, the idea being you have one extra drive which stores parity data for those two drives (parity data is the difference in data between the 2 drives). This drive then can act as a failsafe drive. If you remove this drive, the other two drives will function as normal, but if you lose one of the two main striped drives, the data on the other stripe disk and the parity disk can be used to rebuild the data on the second stripe drive, restoring the array. RAID 5 works in a similar fashion except that the Parity data is striped across all the drives. This by its nature gives you the speed to read from the array as per RAID 0, but the write speed is slower since you need to write the parity data as well as the original data. You do however gain the benefit of redundancy making RAID 5 a best of both worlds solution.

JBOD - Also supported by the 404 card is a mode known as JBOD or Just a Bunch Of Disks (honestly, that IS what it stands for), which as its name suggests is exactly that, just a bunch of disks. It doesn't provide any speed benefits or redundancy but simply a way of getting more contiguous storage space.

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