View Full Version : Addonics PM AD5SAPM-E & RocketRaid 2314

04-18-2008, 12:37 PM
Has anyone used the combination of Addonics PM AD5SAPM-E & RocketRaid 2314?

I can't find anywhere online if these 2 are compatible or not. I sent an email to Addonics but they said they never tested the combination.

I especially want to use them in RAID5 with 5 HDDs. The performanace of both card seems just excellent, and that's the cheapest you can do.

Let me know.

04-18-2008, 03:26 PM
Don't know many using RocketRAID cards. That card is a great example of why I don't think much of non-hardware RAID5. The 2314 is a software RAID card, the software is stored on the cards firmware. The overhead for managing the RAID and creating the parity data falls to the host computer's CPU. That overhead is SIGNIFICANT to say the least.

Firmware RAID5 cards in general are not great performers and suck up a lot of capability when they operate. Plus, most of them have relatively unsophisticated management utilities. That tends to not be an issue until the day you have a problem, then the limits end up not allowing recovery of the RAID or other catastrophic event.

In my opinion, for what it is worth, a proper RAID card has a few things going for it to qualify it as a reliable and safe place to store your data, with data security being the only real #1 priority. But my list goes like this:

1) Very good management utility

2) Onboard processor to handle the overhead.

3) Onboard RAM to smooth the IO transactions.

4) a support staff that is helpful, experienced and available

Again, in my opinion, Highpoint misses the boat on all four.

One thing to keep in mind as you pick a decent storage system is that RAID5 is never to be considered all by itself a backup. The things a RAID5 does do for you is make a bigger + faster storage that has one added layer of protection from a single drive failure. That added protection comes at the cost of much higher complexity. That complexity increases the risk of data loss through corruption of the RAID structure itself. Which leads to the last point.

The only protection your data really has is multiple copies. A good separate backup is the most important thing you can do to insure your data is secure. I would much rather have a RAID0 backed up to another RAID0 than just a RAID5, even if that RAID5 was the biggest dollar top end enterprise class RAID on the market.

MacGurus sells a lot of RAID products. We even build our own Hardware RAID unit based on the excellent ARECA RAID controller (http://www.areca.com.tw/products/pcie.htm).

The Addonics port multiplier boards and host cards are made by Lycom, same as our host cards and PM boards. Just relabeled as Addonics.


04-18-2008, 03:59 PM
Well AMUG had a good review on it. Can you give more details on the resources being used and statistics on problems you get with the RAID5 solution provided by RockertRaid 2314?

You're saying that RAID5 had a layer of complexity increasing data loss, can you give me the statistics on that increase of data loss based on the RocketRaid 2314? Can you point me to extensive tests made with the card supporting your statement?

And last but not least would you mind commenting on my original questions: are the 2314 card and the addonics card compatible?

Thank you much!

04-18-2008, 04:56 PM
Sorry. Don't sell the Highpoint card. Won't. You're probably asking the wrong place for detailed statistics on them. Tried to answer the best I could. Been doing pretty much just storage for the last 7 or 8 years. What MacGurus does is test, test and more test and only sell the stuff that performs up to snuff and has support from the manufacturer to be proud of. When they don't qualify, we drop em like a hot potato.


04-19-2008, 12:04 AM
I'm wondering what you intend the RAID 5 for?

I deal with all sorts of RAID 5 (and 6) plenty at work, from entry level up to some serious enterprise stuff. Very rare to have issues with a RAID 5, but when you do, it is bad. Very bad.

Most folks run RAID 5 on servers to:

1. have a single large volume
2. prevent downtime in the event of a drive failure, achieving longer uptime.

It is a generally accepted concept that RAID 5 is a good compromise: good performance (though not the fastest available), a concatenated volume, drive failure protection, in order achieve the two goals above.

Is this what you are after? I ask because depending on what your needs are, there may be better performing setups. If we back up a step, to see what the box will used for, maybe we can kick around the options.

Since most Mac users around here are not running servers, and their needs are different from server requirements, there isn't much call for RAID 5. Historically, RAID 5 hardware was very expensive for high performance. Low end cards and integrated boxes are typically reliable, but have limited speed as a consequence. Fine for file servers, backups, and general computing, but not for high performance storage. That may be changing, but try to keep in mind that when advising people on how to handle data, it is generally good to be conservative, and recommend what is known to work, and be a good value. Tried and true.

Another question to consider is volume size. Though we all have more data than ever....those storage servers I was referring to were historically built with 18 GB or even 9 GB SCSI drives just a few years ago. Sys Admin types needed away to build bigger volumes for storage. With current drives topping out at over 1 TB, most consumers really don't need to build a RAID to add space.

This card looks to have good RAID 5 numbers according to AMUG, but RAID 0 easily beats it by a wide margin:

RAID 5 - (5 drive array) Average write: 170 - read: 167
RAID 0 - (5 drive array) Average write: 219 - read: 242

So, barring a server setup with uptime taking precedent, why go RAID 5?

Rick's experience with building and testing fast Mac user storage has served him - and many, many others - well for quite a few years. Doesn't mean it is the only way, but it is hard to argue with success and reliability. As a vendor, he is the one who gets the angry customer on the phone asking where all is data went when a RAID fails, so don't expect him to talk up things that he can't stand behind with 100% faith.

I am not aware of anybody here running any of the highpoint RAID 5 cards, or the Addonics PM board. If there is, they will chime in.

If you do give this setup a shot, would love to hear back from you with a report. Good, bad, or otherwise. :)