Promise Rolls-Out RAID 5 Serial ATA-150 Controller

by Anton Shilov
08/12/2003 | 02:13 PM

While the Serial Attached SCSI is not here, providers of RAID controllers start to unveil RAID devices for typical Serial ATA-150 interconnection. Promise Technology today announced the availability of the FastTrak S150 SX4, a RAID 5 PCI Serial ATA-150 adapter for Serial ATA/150 drives.


RAID 5 is recognized as the storage professional’s choice for its combination of enhanced performance, data protection, and increased capacity, but the cost of RAID 5 hardware has traditionally restricted its broad market success. The FastTrak S150 SX4 sets a new standard in RAID 5 HBA architecture by replacing the high-cost traditional IO processor on the RAID HBA with a low-cost, high-performance Promise RAID 5 ASIC that integrates a RAID 5 XOR engine and cache memory controller. The XOR engine used for the intensive parity calculations required for RAID 5. This architecture provides a unique benefit of delivering higher performance at a fraction of cost of traditional RAID 5 HBAs. The throughput is directly related to the performance of the high-powered host system Pentium CPU and is priced at a fraction of the cost of competitive RAID 5 solutions.

Promise’s FastTrak S150 SX4 provides 4 independent Serial ATA-150 ports for up to 4 Serial ATA-150 HDDs, an ideal fit in entry-level server environments where price-sensitivity is high. With currently available drive sizes, the controller supports protected, high-performance RAID 5 capacities up to 750GB.

Promise's FastTrak S150 SX4 controller leverages the company's hardware and software expertise to maximize performance and reliability. To assure faster transfers, Promise cards use sophisticated data handling techniques to make data transfers more efficient and minimize overloading the host system CPU and slowing system response. Promise FastTrak controllers also include user-friendly FastBuild software to simplify installation and Promise Array Management (PAM) software, a professional-level visual administration tool to monitor and maintain the storage subsystem. The FastTrak S150 SX4 takes advantage of Promise’s PerfectRAID technology for robust error handling and recovery.

When combined with Promise Technology's SuperSwap 1100 hot swap drive enclosure for Serial ATA-150 drives, the FastTrak S150 SX4 offers the only complete, cost-effective high-availability internal storage system on the market. Packed with advanced capabilities such as hot-swap functionality, enclosure management, and other high-end multi-drive system features, the SuperSwap 1100 works with the FastTrak S150 SX4 to provide reliable high-availability storage needed for critical applications such as email servers that need to be running constantly.

The FastTrak S150 SX4 controller lists for $199. Users will be able to acquire these products through  distributors and several OEM vendors in the near future.