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Adaptec Series 6 and 6T Family

Series 6/6T FAQs

Answers to your most frequently
asked questions



What are the differences between Adaptec Series 6E, Series 6, Series 6T and Series 6Q?

The Adaptec 6Gb/s Series 6 family of raid adapters is designed to meet a broad range of storage requirements.

Series 6E – For entry-level systems, affordable, hardware RAID (SATA/SAS) adapters with on-board DRAM that outperform software-based HBAs and SATA adapters. Series 6E supports Hardware RAID levels 0, 1, 1E, 10 and JBOD and PCIe Gen2 x4 interface (6805E) and x1 interface (6405E). Both form factor are shorter than MD2 and ZMCP is not supported on Series 6E.

Series 6 and Series 6T – High performance raid adapters deliver superior bandwidth and reliability, energy efficiency and operating costs savings. The only difference is Series 6T has recessed top-mounted connectors for dense-server applications. Series 6 and 6T support Hardware RAID levels 0, 1, 1E, 5, 5EE, 6, 10, 50, 60 and JBOD and PCIe Gen 2 x8 interface.

Series 6Q and Series 6TQ – For data center environments, they include all Series 6 features plus maxCache 2.0 SSD caching for maximum performance. Series 6Q and 6TQ support Hardware RAID levels 0, 1, 1E, 5, 5EE, 6, 10, 50, 60 and JBOD and PCIe Gen 2 x8 interface.

How is the Adaptec Series 6T different from the Adaptec Series 6?

The only difference is that Series 6T products (6405T and 6805T) have recessed, top-mounted connectors. The performance, features and compatibility are the same as the Series 6. They also support the same AFM-600 module for Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection. By providing a different connector orientation, Adaptec Series 6T adapters provide the added hardware flexibility required for very dense server applications.

How is the Adaptec Series 6 and Series 6T different from the Adaptec Series 5 and Series 5Z?

The Adaptec Series 6 and Series 6T are our first 6Gb/s unified Serial RAID adapter channel storage solutions. Series 5 and Series 5Z with ZMCP are both 3Gb/s. For maximum flexibility Series 6 includes our advanced Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection (ZMCP) as a separate module (AFM 600). ZMCP solves Lithium Ion Battery Back-up (BBU) deficiencies by providing full protection to cached data with no installation, monitoring, maintenance, or replacement costs. Like the Series 5 and Series 5Z, the Series 6 family also offers a full suite of RAID features and Intelligent Power Management.

What is the performance of the Series 6 and Series 6T versus the Series 5?

While the Series 5 still delivers high performance in all server-related workloads with a high number of I/O operations like OLTP and file servers, the Series 6 and Series 6Toffers enhanced bandwidth with its 6Gb/s SAS 2.0 and PCIe Gen2 interfaces. In applications where bandwidth is a key differentiator the Series 6 and Series 6T can deliver up to 60% higher performance than Series 5.

What applications is 6Gb/s ideal for and why?

While 6Gb/s solution can play in all kinds of environments and applications, it provides its true benefit when high throughput and high bandwidth is required. Typical applications are such as editing and broadcasting uncompressed stereoscopic (3D) video streams or archiving. In addition, applications which use 6Gb/s enterprise class SSDs for high throughput can benefit, as typically such devices take advantage of the 6Gb/s SAS bandwidth.

What is Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection (ZMCP)?

Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection is a revolutionary advancement that solves Lithium Ion BBU deficiencies by providing full protection to cached data with no installation, monitoring, maintenance, or replacement costs. It utilizes flash memory and super-cap technology to deliver an advanced and superior adapter cache protection solution. The super-cap charges while your system boots offering backup protection immediately, while 2GB of flash memory dedicated to protecting the data in adapter cache offers continued protection that never needs to be monitored or replaced after installation. Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection removes the hardware maintenance associated with other battery based adapter cache backup solutions.

Why do I need to protect adapter cache?

Adapter cache should always be protected whenever write caching is enabled to guard against loss of data stored in the cache if system power goes out. Enabling the adapter cache offers benefits in performance – especially RAID 5 and RAID 6 performance – and extends the duration and cost savings of Adaptec's Intelligent Power Management by storing data rather than writing it to a spun-down drive.

I currently use a battery backup module to protect my adapter cache. How is Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection an improvement?

Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection (ZMCP) eliminates the inefficiencies of the Lithium Ion BBU protection model, resulting in cost savings over the life of the product and the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). By offering data protection that does not degrade over time, ZMCP removes the costs of monitoring, maintaining, replacing, and disposal associated with the Lithium Ion BBU model. With the data stored in flash memory, the Adaptec Series 6 stores protected data for years in case of power loss – a monumental improvement over the Lithium Ion BBU model which maintains data only for up to 72 hours before the battery power depletes. This extended data accessibility allows for less constrained disaster recovery plans, relieving remote data center response times from the 72 hour Lithium Ion BBU threshold.

What is the cost of Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection (ZMCP) and how much will I save from a Lithium Ion Battery Back-Up (BBU) model?

The actual cost of the Lithium Ion BBU protection model varies by use case, but there are several contributing variables to the Lithium Ion BBU cost equation. Battery charge reduces over time, requiring replacement during the system installation life. This replacement adds hardware costs and installation costs to physically replace the Lithium Ion BBU. Additionally, the system may suffer from unplanned downtime to replace a failed battery, resulting in loss of system resources that can be avoided with ZMCP. Disposal of old batteries usually requires adherence to hazardous material standards, adding even more cost. By adding up the hardware, maintenance, and disposal costs, savings can accumulate to thousands of dollars per year by implementing an Adaptec Series 6 solution.

Why isn't this feature offered on competitors' products?

Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection is an industry-first solution offered only by Microsemi Adaptec and is the result of conquering several technical hurdles in design and validation. We deliver the most innovative and impactful technological advances to our customers, emphasizing performance, efficiency, and value. The Series 6 extends all three of these criteria, and is essential to ensure your data is protected.

What is Hybrid RAID 1, 10?

Hybrid RAID arrays are mirrors of Solid State Drives (SSDs) and Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) offer tremendous performance gains over standard HDD RAID arrays by performing read operations from the faster SSD and write operations on both the SSD and HDD. The result is a higher number of read operations per second with no significant degradation of write I/O performance, and complete transparency to the operating system and all running applications.

What RAID levels do the Series 6 and Series 6T products support?

The Series 6 and Series 6T RAID adapter families support standard RAID levels 0, 1, 1E, 5, 5EE, 6, 10, 50, 60, and JBOD. It also supports Copyback Hot Spare, which allows the user to specify a fixed physical location for the hot spare for improved manageability.

What operating systems are supported?

The Series 6 and 6T families support a long list of operating systems including Windows, Linux, VMware, Solaris, and FreeBSD. For a complete list of available operating systems and drivers, please consult the Adaptec support site.

What management utilities are included with the Series 6 and Series 6T?

Adaptec Storage Manager™ is a one-view utility that centralizes management of all Adaptec RAID products. Adaptec Storage Manager enables remote RAID management, monitoring, and configuration through secure, encrypted communication.

ARCCONF (Command Line Interface – CLI) - Text-based command line interface that provides the same functions as Adaptec Storage Manager in environments where a GUI is not available. This includes SMI-S support under VMware to send and receive email notifications (requires Adaptec email notification client for Linux).

BIOS configuration utility (ACU) – used for quick and easy local setup without booting the OS.

How compatible are the Series 6 and Series 6T families?

The Series 6 and 6T adapters are tested and supported on all the major vendors' motherboard, enclosures, SSDs, and disk drives.

Are Adaptec Series 6 and Series 6T compatible with the existing Series 2 and Series 5 products?

Yes, Series 6 and Series 6T are fully compatible with its predecessors: Series 2 and Series 5. Existing RAID arrays can be migrated from Series 2 and Series 5 to Series 6 and Series 6T and vice versa. Series 6 and Series 6T adapters cards can co-exist in the same system with Series 1-5 adapters.

What is the warranty period on the Series 6 and Series 6T RAID adapter Families?

The Series 6 and Series 6T RAID adapter Families has been extensively tested with third-party systems to deliver the utmost in compatibility, now and in the future. Each is backed by a 3-year warranty and Adaptec industry-leading technical support.

What is Unified Serial?

SAS/SATA adapters, like the Series 6 family, support both SATA and SAS disk drives using a serial point-to-point interface. The command set is an enriched SCSI command set providing robust data management, error handling, and performance characteristics.

This flexibility of supporting both SATA and SAS disk drives makes it easy for companies to standardize on a single I/O infrastructure for both mission-critical storage and secondary storage – dependent solely upon whether SATA or SAS disk drives are installed. Customers can standardize on a single I/O adapter or storage system for all of their storage configurations, reducing training and repair costs.