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Promise FastTrak100 vs. AMI MegaRAID IDE100


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Promise FastTrak100 vs. AMI MegaRAID IDE100
  April 4, 2001 Author: Terry Baranski  


The FastTrak100...

The FastTrak series of RAID adapters is undoubtedly the most well known of them all - it's primarily this series that enabled Promise to attain a 90% share of the ATA RAID market over the last few years. The FastTrak100, up until a couple weeks ago, was the newest version of this popular line (see our news post about Promise's FastTrak100 TX & LP announcment), allowing ATA-100 support via Promise's ATA-100 ASIC.


FastTrak 100 Specifications...

  • RAID levels 0, 1, 01, and JBOD; (Just a Bunch Of Disks... serially linked into one capacity)
  • Up to 4 ATA-100 drives supported (2 ATA channels);
  • "Hot spare" capability;
  • Stripe size selectable from 1K to 1MB;
  • S.M.A.R.T. support for reporting pending disk drive failures;
  • Easy upgrade of current disk drive to a RAID 1 array by automatically duplicating existing data to the array;
  • Support for BIOS Boot Specification (BBS);
  • DOS / Win3.1 / 9x / ME / NT / 2000 support;
  • 2-year warranty
Included with the Promise are the following items:
  • Two dual-connector, 80-conductor ATA cables;
  • ~90 page user manual (can be downloaded here).
  • Driver and utility disks


The Software...

The FaskTrak 100's BIOS - a.k.a. FastBuild - facilitates standard functions such as array creation, deletion, and status viewing. RAID 0 arrays may be configured with one to four drives (a 1-drive RAID 0 array represents a standard single-drive configuration), RAID 1 arrays can be configured with two drives (with one or two hot spares also configurable), while RAID 01 arrays must have four drives. Stripe size for RAID 0 and RAID 01 arrays can be between 1K and 1MB (logarithmic intervals), and any array may be made bootable if the user so desires. Also notable is that a RAID 1 array can be configured from an existing drive without any data loss. This is a convenient feature for those who want to add redundancy to an existing drive.

The FastTrak also comes with FastCheck, a utility that monitors and configures arrays from within Windows. With FastCheck, one may view array details, perform synchronization of a RAID 1 array, rebuild a degraded RAID 1/01 array, and configure a plethora of options including S.M.A.R.T enable/disable, write cache enable/disable (refers to the write cache of the drives themselves), rebuild rate (the rate at which a degraded array is rebuilt when a spare drive is made available), PCI bus utilization, and what action to take if an error is encountered during a rebuild or synchronization procedure.

 The MegaRAID IDE100...


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