Adaptec (by PMC) ASR-8885 12Gb/s PCIe RAID Adapter Review – Raid Testing With 8 HGST 12Gbps SSDs

SERVER PROFILES

While synthetic workloads do a great job of testing the underlying technology and reporting easy to understand results, they aren’t always indicative of how the drive will be used by the end user. Workloads that simulate enterprise environments try to bridge that gap without being overly complex. 

ASR-8885-DB

The database profile is 8K transfers, and 67% percent of operations are reads.

Our Series 8 setup took no mercy on the database profile.  With nearly 500K IOPS, it easily blew by the Series 7.  Only a pair of Series 7 and 3x the number of drives was able to get a higher score, and even then, by less than 15%.

ASR-8885-fs

The fileserver profile is based on an 80% read/20% write mix. Its made up of blocksizes from 512 to 64K, each making up a different percentage of the access pattern.

The pattern is: 512 bytes=10%, 1k=5%,2k=5%, 4k=60%, 8k=2%, 16k=4%, 32k=4%, 64k=10%.

In this test, the Series 7 and 8 were pretty evenly matched.  The larger block sizes probably account for the closeness of the results.  The 24 SSDs in the Series 7 setup give it a clear advantage with large block sequential performance.

ASR-8885-ws

The webserver profile is similar to the fileserver profile, but has some additional 128K and 512K accesses thrown in for good measure. Additionally, the profile is 100% read.

Considering the webserver profile is so close to fileserver, but with more large block transfers, it was no surprise that the Series 8 fell behind the Series 7.

Now is a good time to reiterate that the Series 8 would do just as good, or better than the Series 7, given the same drive setup.  We were more interested in seeing if a 12Gbps solution was superior at lower drive counts.  Except for large block sequential transfers, where the number of drives play such an important role, the Series 8 held its own in many of the tests.

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Lisa Jackson = Rich Windsor
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Lisa Jackson = Rich Windsor

Wow.

I didn’t see the ASR-8885 as being listed, via the Amazon link provided. Is it available yet? If so, who besides Amazon would carry it? And likewise for the HGST SSD800MM?

Les@TheSSDReview
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We commonly review products before such availability and I might keep my eyes open on the Amazon links for the card. As for the HGST 12Gbps SAS SSDs, I somehow don’t think we are going to be seeing those available through retail means anytime soon, keeping in mind thjat they are still a new and very hard to come by item.

Thanks ahead though for using our links!

Lisa Jackson = Rich Windsor
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Lisa Jackson = Rich Windsor

The “wow” for the performance numbers. Again, wow 8) and thanks for the informative review. Would like to buy, but am going to have to save pennies for awhile.

Rick
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Rick

You wrote:

“… Finally, you can see the SFF-8643 internal connectors and SFF-8644
external connectors. With both external and internal ports, the
ASR-8885 has a lot of flexibility….”

Ok, so for example, (8)Internal / (8)External , so does this “flexibility” mean, I can simply connect 16 Drives “Internally” to the Raid card, and for example utilize all 16 in a Raid-10 ???

Adaptec by PMC
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Adaptec by PMC

If you want to connect only internal drives using the 8885 then you would want to use a backplane with expanders, as physically, only 8 directly cabled drives can be connected to the internal ports on this model. However if you had an externla drive enclosure attached to this model, then you could use the external porsts in combination with the internal. With the use of an expander based enclosure, you would be able to see all the drives in the enclosure through one connection (single point to point cable from controller to enclosure). You could also use a 16… Read more »

Les@TheSSDReview
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Thank you! Always great to have the manufacturer jump in to elaborate!

Ricardo
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Ricardo

Hi
Do you know if the new series 8 follows the same nature as previous one series 6 and 7, I mean, they seem to shine at high queue depths, but can you tell me if the made progress on random 4K QD1? Thank you

Adaptec by PMC
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Adaptec by PMC

Hi Ricardo, Adaptec has been working on improving lower queue depth performance and the up-comming release of firmware expected at the end of 2013/beginning of 2014 should reflect these changes in series 7 and 8 performance numbers. However, even when these changes are implemented, queue depth 1 performance is expected to be low compared to more common IO depth performance applications. Especially since at IO depth 1, the full latency of every stage in the IO path is exposed – from application, driver, command thread, drive and all the way back. At all times, only one stage is active. All… Read more »

Ricardo
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Ricardo

Thank you for the answer Adaptec. I’ve been using Adaptec 6405 with ZMM module connecting a pair of samsung 830 ssd specifically on windows environment. I learned that Dynamic mode is the best suited for windows environment (every type of sequencial and random nature). Ok I know the benchmarks (wherever they are) don’t tell the true story and my “slow” 6405 is really fast scanning a single seagate barracuda 7200.10 at 920mb/s (all cache enabled when protected by zmm) and drives cache itself). I asked before about random 4k QD1 because each manufacturer do their controllers specifically for one environment,for… Read more »

laurens
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laurens

It does not help with read/writes. It is just a replacement for a BBU. BBU has problems with maintaining voltage, in some cases you will have to empty it to gauge how much power it has, or to increase how it’s life expectancy. That is the downside to this, it cannot keep power in check for a too long of period of time. And you will have to empty the BBU and recharge it again. That means in the mean time of a few hours it will use passthrough instead of backed. In most cases it is not tolerateble to… Read more »

Andy
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Andy

Are throughput test done in RAID 5 mode?

boe_d
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boe_d

Unfortunately all I gained from this article was that you are happy Adaptec has raid controllers. If those charts included a performance comparison to a 9271 or even a 9260 I’d have some idea how an LSI benchmarks are in relation to the new adaptec. Just because it is 12G or PCI 3.0 that doesn’t mean it is faster, just that it has access to more bandwidth however the processor may be so slow it gains nothing.

jokasi
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jokasi

Dear all, is there Host based adopter (HBA) that is compatible with ubuntu operating system.