TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Real World Review: AMCC 3ware Sidecar Kit

Volume Number: 23 (2007)
Issue Number: 05
Column Tag: Real World Review

Real World Review: AMCC 3ware Sidecar Kit

When it's time to step up to more and better

by Michael R. Harvey

Recently, we reviewed a small NAS unit that was good for smaller home offices or work groups. That product, however, lacked features critical to any group larger than a few people or workstations. The AMCC 3ware Sidecar is the next step up. It is a full hardware RAID storage device, but not so big as to be cost prohibitive for smaller installations. This desktop RAID unit is an ideal starting point as your storage needs grow beyond a single disk, and a CD backup.


Figure 1: The AMCC 3ware Sidecar Kit

The unit itself is a four bay SATA enclosure. It attaches to any G5 or newer Mac with PCI Express, via a multilane SATA II cable to an AMCC 9590E-4ME controller card that is included in the kit. The card itself is 4 lanes, and so will work in either a 4x or 8x PCI Express slot. There also is a controller cable that runs between the RAID unit and the card providing device management and information to the set up and monitoring software. The unit can be placed anywhere with good airflow. It is small enough to fit on top of a G5/Mac Pro tower.

The software itself is two parts. First, a background process that runs at boot and does the monitoring, and, second, a web based interface for configuration and reporting. The system requirements are OS X 10.4.6 (10.4.8 for Intel based Mac Pros), and Java 1.5 or later. The installer is dreadfully slow, but it's Java based, so that behavior is expected. The web interface, however, is responsive, and includes a good help system.

Hardware and software installation are pretty straightforward. Put the parts where they belong, link up the cables, make sure the RAID unit is powered on before the computer, and then start up. To configure the Sidecar, you type into a web browser: https://localhost:888. From that web-based interface, after logging in as an administrator, you can select drives and choose the RAID level you want. We suggest either a 3 disk RAID 5 with a hot spare (you can designate a drive as a spare in the web management software), or a RAID 10. Both these configurations require all four drive bays be used, but they give you either very good performance and fault tolerance (RAID 10) or high capacity with hot fail over in case of a drive problem, along with a performance boost (RAID 5). After the 3ware interface has your unit set up, you'll need to partition it using Disk Utility. You are good to go after that.


Figure 2: The web control interface, displaying an error condition

The one obvious failing of this unit compared to the NAS we reviewed earlier is availability over the network. Two options here: In smaller settings, you can use Hornware's SharePoints to enable sharing using OS X. Your other option is to attach the unit to an Xserve, or othe Mac running OS X Server, and share it out that way. It's not an XServe RAID, but then again, that much hardware is not what you are looking for in the scenario we are assuming for this review.

Also, at NAB 2007, AMCC announced that support for Windows systems was now available for the 3ware Sidecar. This opens up more options if your backend is running on Windows Server. You can still get RAID level storage made available to your Mac desktops that way.

The base unit, that does not include disk drives, costs $1295, and can be purchased directly from AMCC, as well as a few resellers. This allows you to add whatever size drives you need to complete the unit.

The AMCC unit is a very good starting point for moving into RAID quality storage. The price is not unreasonable, and the options the unit provides, as well as the reporting capabilities, make this product an excellent choice for moving from basic storage to fault tolerant, and better performing, RAID storage.

www.3ware.com

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

How to evolve Eevee in Pokemon GO
By now, almost everyone should be hip to how to evolve Pokemon in Pokemon GO (and if not, there's a guide for that). Just gather enough candy of the appropriate type, feed them all to the Pokemon, and evolution happens. It's a miracle that would... | Read more »
CSR Racing 2: Guide to all game modes
It might not seem like there are all that many ways to go fast in a straight line, but CSR Racing 2 begs to differ. [Read more] | Read more »
Bulb Boy (Games)
Bulb Boy 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Multi-award winning 2D point & click horror adventure about a boy with a glowing head. | Read more »
5 top free emoji keyboard apps
If we're not at peak emoji yet as a society, it feels like we definitely should be. The emoji concept has gone far beyond what anyone in Japan could have envisioned when the people there unleashed it on an unsuspecting world, but the West has... | Read more »
How to unlock more characters in Disney...
One of the big charms of Disney Emoji Blitz is seeing a wide variety of beloved Disney and Pixar characters transformed into smiling emojis. Even someone like the sneaky Randall from Monsters Inc., who probably never cracked a smile on film, is... | Read more »
Cubway (Games)
Cubway 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubway is a journey with an abstract story of lifecycle of rebirth, called Samsara. Guide the cube through the long way full of dangers... | Read more »
Colorcube (Games)
Colorcube 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Turn pieces and blend colours in this minimal yet visually stunning puzzler.Over 200 handcrafted and challenging levels. Features... | Read more »
Doodle God Griddlers (Games)
Doodle God Griddlers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Crusader Kings: Chronicles (Games)
Crusader Kings: Chronicles 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Crusader Kings: Chronicles is an interactive text based game that puts you in the shoes of Guy de Rose as you make... | Read more »
Roads of Rome: New Generation (Games)
Roads of Rome: New Generation 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

27-inch iMacs on sale for $200 off MSRP
Amazon has 27″ iMacs on sale for $200 off MSRP including free shipping: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $1799.99 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB HD iMac 5K... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2799, $200 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3799, $200... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (Apple refurbished...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1379 $120 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1199.99 $100 off MSRP - 21″ 1... Read more
Charitybuzz Set to Auction Unique Apple-1 Com...
Offering an opportunity to own the computer that sparked a revolution, on Monday, July 25, leading online charity auction platform Charitybuzz will auction what is claimed to be the world’s most... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP
Amazon has 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $899.99 $100 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Willow...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Evangelist - JAMF Software (United S...
The Apple Evangelist is responsible for building and cultivating strategic relationships with Apple 's small and mid-market business development field teams. This Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
*Apple* Professional Learning Specialist - A...
Job Summary The Apple Professional Learning Specialist is a full-time position for one year with Apple in the Phoenix, AZ area. This position requires a high Read more
*Apple* Picker - Apple Hill Orchard (United...
Apple Hill Orchard, Co. Rte. 21,Whitehall, NY 9/7/16-10/228/16. Pick fresh market or processing apples Productivity of 60 boxes and 80 boxes processing fruit per Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.