One question I am often asked is what do I think about port multipliers. The short story here is that I think they can be valuable and I can see that they have a place in the market. The Silicon Image SiI3124 controller is an inexpensive SATA II controller that runs natively on a PCI-X bus. One of the biggest draws to the Silicon Image port-multiplier enabled ecosystems is cost. For about $100 one can purchase a controller and a port multiplier (based on the SiI3726 for example) and provide eight ports of connectivity. This low-cost architecture has been something that Silicon Image has been building for years.
Microsoft’s Windows Home Server Vail platform has had a rough development cycle. First cheered for the public beta with a slew of new media features such as on-the-fly transcoding, the euphoria did not last. This fall, Microsoft announced that the popular and updated Drive Extender V2 technology would no longer be a part of the Vail platform. Drive Extender V2 provided both enhanced data security alongside the ability to pool drives using a technology not all too dissimilar to RAID 10 (ed. this is a bit of a stretch, but it does stripe and mirror.) Today we have Windows Home Server 2011 and Small Business Server 2011 Essentials release candidates which is the next evolution of [...]
Shortly after posting my last benchmarks on the dual OCZ Vertex 120GB in Raid 0 setup, I received an e-mail to try the new Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) 18.104.22.1684 drivers, which were supposed to enable TRIM in raid. These new drivers were released, taken down, then re-released in March 2010. The big improvement was supposed to be TRIM is enabled for Raid 0, 1, 10, but not enabled for Raid 5. Unfortuneately, this seems not to be working so the best that can be done is the background garbage collection in firmware v1.5 for OCZ’s Indilinx based SSDs. Since I am only working with two 120GB drives at the moment, I decided to give them a shot. Just for reference, the original [...]