Over the past couple of years RAID has been coming as a standard feature on motherboards. Although RAID is nothing new to performance systems the cost in the past to obtain a RAID controller card was enough to make most shy away from setting up a gaming system, home, or small business server with it. Those who had some money to burn obtained two drives and a Promise or Highpoint card which would enable them to get disk access times and transfer rates that were far faster than a single drive. The select few who either had a lot of money to burn or had access to retired server hardware were able to pull together a SCSI PERC controller and two or more SCSI drives. The drive access times with this PERC setup were something to be desired. Though the down fall was heat and energy use. More recently RAID setups involve standard off the shelf hard drives and onboard controllers which are far cheaper and consume less energy. Now RAID isn't all about speed, there are RAID configurations that are designed to preserve your data such RAID1 (mirror of two volumes or drives). The onboard RAID motherboards usually require the end user to build their OS from scratch in order to load the drivers for the RAID subsystem. The reload of an OS with a RAID system involved has been out of reach to the average PC user until recently. The engineers at Accordance Systems have designed several products with RAID1 in mind and as such they have sent us their ARAID 2200-GP to be reviewed, so let’s take a look.
The design of the 2200-GP is as simple as it can get really. The 2200-GP is an all-in-one-design with the bare minimum of cables to be plugged in. The 2200-GP does not come with hard drives so you will have to supply those. This does give the consumer the benefit of selecting the drives and capacity of their choice. Hard drive prices in the market today are dropping from day to day so it is best for both the consumer and the Accordance Systems to sell the 2200-GP without drives. Our review unit did come with drives and ARAID didn't pull any punches here as they outfitted the review unit with two Deskstar 160GB hard drives SATA 3.0Gb/s drives. These drives performed very well against our single Western Digital 220GB SATA hard drive. In the end, it is up the consumer to choose what brand name, storage capacity and access times they desire. NOTE: keeping the same drive models the same are desired as performance of the 2200-GP will be at the level of the slowest and smallest of the two drives. The documentation that comes with the 2200-GP even states that it would be a good idea to purchase more drives of the same model than what you need initially, so if and when one drive fails in the future, you will have another drive of the same model on-hand to swap-out. Personally we would just purchase two drives and when one fails in the future migrate to two larger drives and use the one remaining functional drive for another purpose.
|•Connects to a single SATA or eSATA PC host interface and power|
|•Host two 3.5" SATA drives|
|•Provides RAID 1 disk mirroring|
|•Requires no additional software or controller cards to operate|
|•Disk are hot-swappable for data backup and disk replacement|
|•SATA 3G, SATA, SATA II support|
|•Supports 10000/7200/5400 RPM drives|
|•Includes an SNMP Agent for enterprise network management|
|•Quiet forced air cooling|
|•LCD display for system and hard drive status|
|•LED indicators and sounding alarm|