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3ware today announced it has begun shipping its latest family of RAID controller cards based on Serial ATA specifications -- the Escalade 8500 series. The Escalade 8500 series is available in four, eight and twelve-port configurations, offering storage VARs and systems builders the first complete family of enterprise class Serial ATA RAID controllers. The new controllers extend the company's high performance ATA controller line to support the Serial ATA interface standard, providing terabytes of reliable, performance-based Serial ATA RAID storage.
Traditional technologies such as parallel ATA and SCSI use a bus-based architecture where all the drives share a single bus, with a resulting compromise in performance. The Serial ATA architecture provides point-to-point communication, delivering full bandwidth to each connected drive when a switched architecture is employed. 3ware's non-blocking switched fabric design allows the controller to simultaneously access all drives, delivering much higher performance than competitive SCSI or Serial ATA solutions.
The Escalade 8500 series of Serial ATA RAID controllers eliminates the problems of traditional parallel ATA cabling. Serial ATA has longer, thinner, more flexible cables (up to 1 meter) providing superior airflow for better system cooling and assembly. For users who want to benefit from the advantages of serial ATA cabling with standard parallel drives, 3ware also offers a Parallel-to-Serial converter which allows the Escalade 8500 series controllers and Serial ATA cables to connect to a standard ATA drive.
Roger Cox, Chief Analyst Server Storage & RAID Worldwide at Gartner said, "Serial ATA represents a significant milestone for network storage. Traditionally, only certain classes of data have enjoyed the benefits of redundant technology due to the high cost of legacy RAID solutions. Serial ATA enables the use of RAID technology across the entire corporate data set, for the first time bringing the cost of data reliability to a point where all relevant data can be stored on redundant systems."
"The Escalade 8500 series is the only Serial ATA controller on the market that uses a switched architecture designed specifically to meet the intent of Serial ATA's point-to-point connection methodology," said Mike Wentz, senior director of product marketing at 3ware. "A switched architecture improves reliability and performance and increases isolation of drive faults, resulting in a next-generation RAID controller that delivers real world solutions for today's storage applications. 3ware provides the only architecture that can easily scale from four drives to twelve drives, enabling business and vertical customers to build reliable, high capacity, scalable, low maintenance storage using inexpensive Serial ATA drives."