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

Shadow Blade: Reload guide - How to hack...
Shadow Blade: Reload is the kind of action-platformer that would have happily sucked up hours of your time on a console a few years back.Now, you can take it with you wherever you go, and its mobile conversion is not too shabby at all. To help you... | Read more »
Tomb of the Mask guide - How to increase...
Tomb of the Mask is a great endless arcade game from Happymagenta in which quick reflexes and a persistent attitude can go a long way toward earning a top score. Check out these tips to see if you can give yourself an edge on the leaderboards. [... | Read more »
Smooth Operator! (Games)
Smooth Operator! 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Smooth Operator is a weird, weird two-player kissing game. Squeeze in for 2 player fun on a single iPad, creating awkward... | Read more »
Sinless: Remastered (Games)
Sinless: Remastered 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
_PRISM Guide - How to solve those puzzle...
_PRISM is a rather delightful puzzle game that’s been tailor made for touch screens. While part of the fun is figuring things out as you go along, we thought we’d offer you a helping hand at getting in the right mindset. Don’t worry about messing... | Read more »
Fractal Space (Games)
Fractal Space 1.3.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.3.1 (iTunes) Description: Live the memorable experience of Fractal Space, a unique first person adventure & puzzle game by Haze Games! Will you... | Read more »
Set off on an adventure through the Cand...
Like match three puzzlers? If so, Jelly Blast, the innovative iOS and Android game which launched last year, is worth a look. Jelly Blast sees you head off on an epic adventure through the Candy Kingdom with your friends Lily, Mr. Hare, and Mr.... | Read more »
Ellipsis - Touch. Explore. Survive. (...
Ellipsis - Touch. Explore. Survive. 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Abzorb (Games)
Abzorb 1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1 (iTunes) Description: Abzorb is a tilt game about consuming orbs by getting as close as you can to them without touching. By tilting your mobile device, collect... | Read more »
A Short Tale (Games)
A Short Tale 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It’s been years since I lost Ben, so long yet it doesn’t seem long enough. I never thought I’d return here, to where everything... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

cb Hardcase – Handmade and Premium Protective...
Baden-Baden, Germany based company cb innovations has introduced the new cb Hardcase for iPhone. Featuring fine Italian Premium leather that makes for a unique look and feel, the cb Hardcase... Read more
Sale! B&H Photo offers 12-inch Retina Mac...
B&H Photo has 12″ Retina MacBooks on sale for $300 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $999 $300 off MSRP - 12″ 1.... Read more
App Annie Reveals Future of the App Economy:...
App Annie, a San Francisco based mobile app data and insights platform, has launched its first comprehensive app economy forecast. This new offering will provide brands, agencies, investors and app... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished Mac mini...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more
What iPad Pro Still Needs To Make It Truly Pr...
I love my iPad Air 2. So much that I’m grudgingly willing to put up with its compromises and limitations as a production tool in order to take advantage of its virtues. However, since a computer for... Read more
21-inch 3.1GHz 4K on sale for $1399, $100 off...
B&H Photo has the 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac on sale $1399 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP: - 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac (MK452LL/A): $... 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
Save up to $240 with Apple Certified Refurbis...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 12″ Retina MacBooks for up to $240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The... 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 Time Capsules available for...
Apple has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for $120 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $179, $120 off - 3TB... Read more

Jobs Board

Lead Engineer *Apple* OSX & Hardware -...
Lead Engineer Apple OSX & Hardware **Job ID:** 3125919 **Full/Part\-Time:** Full\-time **Regular/Temporary:** Regular **Listed:** 2016\-02\-10 **Location:** Cary, Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
Job Title Apple Mobile Master **Brand** Best Buy **Job Description** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** At Best Buy, our mission is to leverage the Read more
Infrastructure Engineer - *Apple* /Mac - Rem...
…part of a team Requires proven problem solving skills Preferred Additional: Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) Apple Certified Technical Coordinator (ACTC) Read more
Lead Engineer - *Apple* OSX & Hardware...
Lead Engineer - Apple OSX & Hardware **Job ID:** 3125919 **Full/Part\-Time:** Full\-time **Regular/Temporary:** Regular **Listed:** 2016\-02\-10 **Location:** Cary, Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.