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Adaptec's "RAID Everywhere" Initiative Aims to Make Data More Redundant

by Stephen Clark Jr.

September 22, 2020 | Let's face it, in modern times, redundancy is important. It really is. Not too many of us would live somewhere without having a spare key stashed away, ready if we needed it. Many of us would also keep a flashlight or, at least, candles in case the power should fail. And not one of us-- I hope--would would drive a daily commute to work without a spare tire in the event that one of the regular tires might fail. As our lives have become increasingly encoded to ones and zeros, the need to provide redundancy in digital data storage has become increasingly important as well. Enter the technology known as RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Devices), a virtual spare-tire for servers on the clich?d information super-highway, and Adaptec's much promoted "RAID Everywhere" initiative.

"RAID Everywhere" is designed to provide mainstream PC servers and high-end PCs with what may be needed most in the event of a failure--redundancy. On the heels of the initiative's anouncement, Adaptec has also announced three new RAID cards. "More than 75 percent of today's whitebox servers, and nearly half of all PC servers shipped today don't have adequate RAID protection--that's an alarming statistic," said Jeff Loebbaka, vice president of channel marketing at Adaptec. "Critical data exists in businesses of every size, yet the benefits of RAID have simply not been widely available, whether due to cost, complexity, or support issues."

Indeed, one key problem that Adaptec faces as it attempts to push RAID into the mainstream is FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). Many small to mid-sized businesses may know of the benefits of RAID, but are scared off by an uncertainty of how to implement the technology, or what kind of investment is required to implement a RAID solution effectively. "We want to do the same thing for RAID that we've done with our SCSI products," said Robert Cox, marketing manager at Adaptec. "That is, create a product that is more reliable and easier to use out of the box." Even Adaptec's included Storage Management Pro software, which is written in Java, is designed to provide a generic user interface across multiple platforms and take the complexity out of setting up and maintaining a RAID system.

Adaptec's three new offerings include two 64-bit Ultra160 SCSI RAID controllers, the 3200S and 3400S, which are two and four-channel versions, respectively. Adaptec also introduced its 2100S, a half-size, single-channel SCSI RAID controller. The 3400S, 3200S, and 2100S controllers are priced at $499, $825, and $1,120, respectively, offering a flexible range in cost.

a doughnut for every PC?

Not quite, Cox said. The "RAID Everywhere" initiative is targeted at small to mid-sized business, a market segment which more often than not can benefit from the features of RAID. Companies that work with large amounts of data, such as audio/video editors, graphic designers, and ecommerce providers are among those that stand to benefit from embracing RAID. "A single disk drive failure could cost a company in both downtime and lost work," said Cox. "RAID can help prevent this." Although SoHo (Small office/Home office) and consumer users are not targeted in Adaptec's push, Cox said he expects a number of these users to adopt the technology as well.

Adaptec, which accounts for an estimated 80 percent of the SCSI market, expects RAID to complement its SCSI technology. Because RAID technology is designed to provide not only redundancy, but speed as well, many companies that have adopted SCSI for its performance may look to RAID for an additional boost. This could be particularly enticing for applications such as DVD authoring, or MPEG-2 streaming over a LAN, which call for large amounts of data to be effieciently moved from one location to another.

"The explosion of the Internet has created a situation where the need for data storage is doubling and quadrupling every year," says Cox. "I've recently heard a figure that Yahoo! adds a terabyte of storage per week. While Yahoo! may be at the extreme end of the spectrum, this is reflective of an overall growth of digital data." As well the need for a redundancy that Adaptec hopes to provide with its "RAID Everywhere" initiative.

(Adaptec, Inc., 691 South Milpitas Boulevard, Milpitas, CA 95035; 800/442-7274, 408/945-8600; Fax 408/262-2533; http://www.adaptec.com)

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