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"A BALANCED APPROACH":
Cost Effective Storage Expansion
Without Data Compromise

Originally posted Thursday, August 18th, 2011, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

When it comes to high capacity storage there are two choices.  First, there is PM (port multiplier) storage solutions (enclosure and host adapter) which is a low cost and high capacity configuration with limited expansion capability, no HW RAID support, and no support for chassis / enclosure management functions. The other is the costly SAS expander solution which offers high performance, chassis / enclosure management support, and storage expandability.     

HighPoint Technologies is seeking to change the storage landscape by offering a third choice: a low cost, storage solution that includes HW RAID (0 1, 5, 6, 10 and JBOD) support,  chassis / enclosure management support, and scalable storage expansion. How? With the new EJ220 Device Board (that supports up to 8 drives on one mini-SAS port) and and the RocketRAID 2700 series SAS 6Gb/s host adapters

There are projects that require lightning fast throughput such as uncompressed RGBA 4096x3112 non-interlaced 12 bit video requires 1840MB/s storage to avoid dropping frames when capturing or during playback. And those projects will play dearly to get that speed. There are also many projects that need less speed and are cost sensitive. Yet they require the same large capacity and data security as the most expensive solutions. That's exactly what the EJ220 Device Board combined with the RocketRAID 2700 series is designed to address.

HOW FAST DOES IT GO COMPARED TO MORE COSTLY SAS EXPANDER SOLUTIONS?
As you can see, the EJ220 based solution compares well with the more expensive SAS Expander solution in terms of performance.

LEGEND of GRAPHS
SAS-X = iStoragePro Tower 8 Bay SAS Expander 6Gb/s enclosure with eight Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 SATA HDDs
EJ220 = HighPoint EJ220 Device Board connected to eight Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 SATA HDDs
RR2744 = HIghPoint RocketRAID 2744 PCIe 2.0 x16 (four port) SAS/SATA RAID Host Adapter
RR2722 = HIghPoint RocketRAID 2722 PCIe 2.0 x8 (two port) SAS/SATA RAID Host Adapter
R0 = RAID 0, R5 = RAID 5
AJA READ Test and WRITE Test refers to AJA System Test 9.0.1 set to 2048x1556 10-bit RGB Video Frame Size and 4.0GB File Size.

HOW MUCH CAPACITY IS POSSIBLE?
With the latest 3TB SATA HDDs, using an enclosure with the EJ220 Device Board and the RocketRAID 2711 or 2721, you can configure a RAID set with a total capacity of 24TB. For those designing a rack mounted storage solution, you could have two EJ220s connected to the RocketRAID 2722 (two mini-SAS ports) to support up to 16 x 3TB SATA HDDs for a total of 48 terabytes.

That's not enough? Four EJ220s connected to a RocketRAID 2744 (four mini-SAS ports) can support 32 x 3TB SATA HDDs for a total of 96TB.

WHAT KIND OF STORAGE MANAGEMENT IS PROVIDED?
The EJ220 board comes with 3 Fan Connectors, 1 Power connector, 1 Beeper and 1 LED. HighPoint provides a complete Storage Management Suite that can monitor enclosure temperatures, fan speeds, and voltages. It can provide real-time alerts when there are critical power and temperature events.

The Management Suite is also used to configure storage as RAID (JBOD, 0, 1, 5, 6, 10) Arrays. In the case of RAID 1, 5 6, and 10, it can alert you if a drive is about to fail or has a hard failure so you can replace the bad drive and begin the rebuilding process.

Finally, the Management Suite keeps a log of all storage and system events. These are storage management and monitoring features normally associated with expensive SAS multi-port and SAS expander storage solutions. Yet the cost is closer to Port Multiplier eSATA solutions that lack these features altogether.

IF YOU ARE A STORAGE SOLUTION MAKER...
... then you should contact HighPoint for pricing on the EJ220 Device Board and information on how to integrate it into your enclosure.

IF YOU ARE A CONSUMER, PRO-SUMER, or PROFESSIONAL...
... then you need to tell your favorite storage solution maker about the EJ220 Device Board and ask them to consider it in their next product plans.

If you have comments or questions, email . You can also follow him on Twitter @barefeats.

WHERE TO BUY THE HIGHPOINT 2700 SERIES 6Gb/s HOST ADAPTERS
Other World Computing and Amazon (search by product model name)

WHERE TO BUY APPLE PRODUCTS
Click on our Apple Store USA text links or display ads when you order. It is a great way to support Bare Feats since we earn a commission on each click-through that results in a sale.

DON'T LIVE in the USA? Here are some Apple Stores to click:
Apple Store - United Kingdom
Apple Store - Canada
Apple Store - France
Apple Store - Germany

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copyright 2011 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster