Back to the future …

March 11, 2013

I wonder if Steven Spielberg had any idea what a phrase that would become …

Adaptec have taken up the idea and released a new series of HBAs. So what is an HBA I hear you ask out there in Channel storage land? A Host Bust Adapter of course. Think back to the 90s … Adaptec made SCSI controllers – simple devices that connected hard drives to your computer so that you could do things with them. They didn’t do RAID, they just showed a disk to the computer and you did what you wanted from there.

Step forward 20 years and we’re back in the same game. In fact, it never really went away but we just didn’t bother with it. Well now we have bothered and have produced a thumping powerful HBA product range that does … well in fact it does just what the old SCSI HBA did 20 years ago – it presents a bunch of single disks to the computer, and you do what you want from there.

So who would want one of these things? Surely you want a RAID card so you can do all that wonderful technical stuff in the background and not have to bother with it at OS or application level? Well no, not really. The datacenters of this world love these things. The big players in the world do their own redundancy and performance work at a much higher level than a RAID card – often even across system or datacenter levels, so they love these things.

Products like ZFS don’t mind HBA too much either. Take a bunch of disks and do your own storage configs – you don’t need a RAID card, you just need connecting to lots of different types of drives – something the HBA does perfectly.

So are we the only players in this game? Did we just stumble across this and think … hmm, can we make a buck of out this business. This is big business with big competition, but that just happens to be what we love.



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