So a customer rings up looking for a fast card for RAID 1 and RAID 10 – he’s going to use SSD’s to make his ultimate home workstation/video server/graphics-CAD machine etc etc (standard home user). He’s going full SSD no matter what anyone tells him, so it’s “performance, performance, performance” all the way.
So … what card do I need? I’ve used up all my available fund on drives but I want the fastest possible RAID card to connect these SSDs.
“Now listen mate. I just told you I only have 4 drives … I’m not forking out for a 16-port controller!” “Typical sales guy … doesn’t listen.” “I said I had 4 drives, I said I wanted RAID 10 and you’re trying to flog me a 16-port controller!”
And so the conversation goes. It’s not until you get someone to look at the pricelist … scroll all the way through to the 71605E that you hear them go “oh!” on the other end of the phone. This is a pretty common scenario in my neck of the woods. The customer has 2 or 4 drives, so is looking for a 2 or 4-port controller … they certainly don’t go looking for a 16-port controller.
So where did this all go wrong? In a way, it was the generosity of the product marketing team that started this (when they read that they’ll think I’ve started being nice to them). The 71605E has less RAM onboard (256Mb) which is fine because it’s only doing RAID 0,1,10,1E,Hybrid … so it doesn’t need a lot of RAM. Combined with the fact that when connecting SSDs we recommend to turn off the cache anyway so it’s pretty pointless putting a lot of the stuff on there … and it lets us get the price down.
However … the chip is the same as all the other 7 series controller (24-port native ROC), so why put only 4 or 8 plastic connectors onto which to connect cables? 16 fit so why not just leave them there? Makes sense to me … whether I need them or not it does the job. In reality it’s a really sensible, good value card that fits the bill for a lot of people … if they knew about it.
But they don’t … because they are not looking for it.
They are looking for a 4 or 8-port controller because that is how many drives they have, and they think that anything with a “16” on it will be crazy expensive so they don’t start at that end of the cattle-dog (catalog) … and hence never know about this card. So take a look at the “entry level” 7 series controller … even though it has 16 ports it may in fact be just the low-cost, high-performance, entry-level controller you are looking for.
Maybe this is the card they should be using instead of the 6805 as mentioned in one of my previous posts? Now even I’m getting confused