3ware Delivers New ATA RAID Storage Controller

3ware Inc. today announced the latest entry in its series of ATA RAID controller cards-the Escalade(TM) 7500-12. With the ability to attach up to 12 ATA drives on a single RAID controller, it is, according to the company, the only ATA RAID solution that can match the storage capacity and performance levels of a SCSI controller for applications that require terabytes of reliable storage.

The Escalade series of RAID controllers is designed to be a cost-effective and dependable solution for large-scale applications such as e-mail servers, Web farms, digital video and storage subsystems. According to 3ware, the Escalade 7500-12 card can deliver almost two terabytes of fault tolerant data storage at a quarter of the price of a comparable SCSI system.

“Companies are struggling to keep pace with storage demands. And because today’s RAID systems are consuming a significant portion of IT budgets, companies are looking for more innovative, cost-efficient storage solutions,” said Mike Wentz, senior director of product marketing at 3ware. “Until now, this market could only be serviced by SCSI technology. For the first time in the industry, our Escalade family of controllers brings ATA-based high-end RAID reliability, capacity and performance to IT departments at a fraction of the cost of SCSI.”

3ware’s StorSwitch architecture, used on the Escalade series, applies network packet switching principles to storage, giving each drive its own dedicated port and cable. This reduces the need for expensive on-board cache, eliminates shared-bus arbitration and dramatically decreases host CPU loading. The result is improved I/O throughput, complete fault isolation and an optimized hardware platform for 3ware’s innovative firmware, which further enhances the system’s RAID 5 features and performance.

In addition to the Escalade 7500-12, 3ware offers a complete suite of software to configure, verify, rebuild and delete arrays, making installation and setup easy. 3DM(TM), 3ware’s web browser based array management utility, allows local and remote management and monitoring of arrays and their disks. The newest Version 7.5 software adds advanced features including 2 levels of administrator access for added security. In addition, the Escalade software also solves the power-on surge problems of high-density drive arrays by staggering the spin-up of individual drives. This dampens power surges, minimizes the risk of boot problems, eliminates excessive wear and tear on the power supply and reduces the need for large, expensive power supplies.

The SCSI specification includes features that deliver higher performance and reliability levels than normally provided by standard ATA controller and drive. 3ware has closed the gap between SCSI and ATA RAID by incorporating these features into the RAID controller. The Escalade 7500-12 SCSI feature set includes tag command queuing, scatter/gather, command re-ordering, parallel seek, dynamic sector repair and more. Combined with 3ware’s switched architecture, the result is a RAID controller that matches the reliability and performance of SCSI at a fraction of the cost.

The 3ware 7500-12 ATA RAID controller card is available now at an MSRP of $699.

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