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This review is from: areca ARC-1882ix-24-2G PCI-Express 3.0 x8 SATA / SAS 28-Port 6Gb/s RAID Adapter
Pros: Controls up to 28 hard drives if you buy a cable for the external port.
RAID6 is an absolute must these days.
Cons: Pricey, but then again, it's a niche market, not a mass market, so I guess cards like this will always be expensive.
Other Thoughts: This is my 3rd Areca card and I'm well pleased. I bought the first one (with 4GB on-board cache) almost 5 years ago, and it's given me such great service (still running in the original file-server computer) that I recently bought two more, although they were out of stock on the model with 4GB cache, so the new ones have just 2GB cache. As far as I can tell, this hasn't caused any slow-downs on data transfers.
I put the 2nd controller in an empty slot on the original file server, and the computer recognized the 2nd controller with no conflict. I added sixteen 4TB HGST NAS drives to the new controller and set it up as RAID6. Then, a few weeks later I built a second RAID6 array using twelve 6TB HGST NAS drives. Soon I will put the 3rd controller card into a 2nd file server that I will build. At that time I'll probably transfer the twelve 6TB HGST drives to the new machine and use it strictly as a backup to the files on the first machine. That way I'll still have empty slots for more drives on the 2nd and 3rd controller cards for that inevitable time when I have to add more storage.
The cards are expensive, and can take a bit of time to learn how to use all the functions - like the fact that a single array can be divided up into multiple volumes, which is probably important to commercial users, but I just use each array as a single huge volume for my media files.
I see that Areca has recently introduced a new version of these cards with a different type of cable connector for the hard drives. There's probably a good reason why they changed the connector, but I decided to stick with this older model since I'm already familiar with it and have had good service.
I recommend these cards to anyone who has outgrown 4 or 8-drive NAS boxes. And IMHO RAID6 is a must. RAID5 just doesn't give enough redundancy. The chance of a second drive failure occurring while rebuilding a data set increases with the amount of time it takes to rebuild an array. I started out 5 years ago with sixteen 1.5TB drives, and within a year added a dozen 3TB drives (28 drives on a single controller card, yay!). Now the new controllers are using 4TB and 6TB drives, and let me tell you, initializing an array or rebuilding an array after replacing a failed drive takes a LOT longer with these new larger drives. I hate to think how long it would take to rebuild an array using 8TB or 10TB drives. In any case, I feel a lot more confident now that I finally have all my files backed up to additional arrays. Remember that FAULT TOLERANCE (RAID 1, 5, or 6) is NOT the same as a BACKUP! Fault Tolerance is an absolute necessity to protect your data, because you can never tell when a drive will fail. But Fault Tolerance does not negate the need for a complete Backup.
Pros: Bought six of these for my newest Areca controller card. Works the way they are supposed to. No problems.
Other Thoughts: They're actually a bit too long, but then again, half-meter cables would have been too short. If I could find these in 3/4 meter lengths I'd buy a few.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: None. Don't be fooled by cheap price.
Cons: I ordered 5 of these to use as additional storage for a game computer and a file server. I set up a 2-drive RAID 0 array on the game computer (for speed) and a 2-drive RAID 1 array on the file server (for redundancy and reliability). One of the drives on the game computer failed almost immediately, so I swapped it out with the 5th spare drive and RMA'd the failed drive to Newegg for a replacement. Within the next week or so, one of the drives on the RAID 1 file server array dropped offline. I unplugged it and re-seated it, and rebuilt the array, and it seemed to work for a few days, but then it dropped offline again. I tried one more time to re-seat it and rebuild the array, but before the rebuild finished, the drive it was rebuilding from dropped offline. I then pulled all 4 drives from both computers and attempted a low-level format on all the drives. Oh, man! So many bad sectors on all of the drives - two of which failed before ever finishing the low-level format.
I'm at the end of my patience with these drives. I haven't even received the replacement yet from the first drive I RMA'd, and already I'm regretting that I didn't just ask for a refund. Well, I'm not making the same mistake again. Thankfully, I saved all the original boxes and packaging, and I'm still within Newegg's 30 day refund policy. All four of these drives are going back to Newegg tomorrow, and if the original drive I sent for a replacement gets here before the 30 day limit, I'm going to send it back for a refund as well. I don't know what has happened to Toshiba's quality control, but you can be it'll be a long time before I give them another chance.
Other Thoughts: I recommend you do a full low-level format on ANY drive you purchase from ANY manufacturer before putting them to use. Yes, it can take many, many hours to perform a low-level format on a multi-terabyte hard drive, compared to just seconds for a 'quick" format, but you'll never regret it. A "quick" format is totally useless. You could have MILLIONS of bad sectors and not know it until the drive starts dropping off line or throwing off S.M.A.R.T. errors. - And don't think S.M.A.R.T. will give you advance warning of a bad drive. None of my drives showed any S.M.A.R.T. errors before failing.READ FULL REVIEW