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Adaptec Series 7 Family

Series 7 FAQs

Answers to your most frequently
asked questions



Product & Features

How is the Microsemi Adaptec Series 7 different from the Adaptec Series 6?

The Microsemi Adaptec Series 7 is our PCIe Gen3 6Gb/s RAID Adapter. Series 7 offers up to 24 native SAS/SATA ports of connectivity, as well as an industry first 16 ports in a LP/MD2 form factor. This storage solution still includes support for our advanced Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection (ZMCP), as seen with the Series 6 and Series 5Z products, that 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 6, the Series 7 family also offers a full suite of RAID features.

What is the performance of Series 7?

Series 7 delivers the highest performance in the industry with 6600MB/s throughput capacity and 450K IOPs! For applications requiring a high number of operations, Series 7 takes full advantage of the PCIe Gen3 bandwidth with 16 ports of direct connectivity. In addition, for server-related workloads strong demand for I/O's per second, Series 7 delivers the fastest total IOPs out-of-the-box.

What applications is 6Gb/s PCIe Gen3 ideal for and why?

While 6Gb/s PCIe Gen3 solutions can play in all kinds of environments and applications, it provides its true benefit when high throughput and high bandwidth is required. PCIe Gen3 provides 2x the bandwidth over Gen 2; as such typical applications, such as OLTP, video streams or archiving can perform at their most optimal.

Why do IT managers 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 adapters write 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.

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.

How is your 3rd Generation Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection an improvement for IT managers who are currently using a previous module to protect adapter cache?

The Adaptec Flash Module (AFM) 700 is our 3rd generation Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection (ZMCP) solution. It maintains the same cache protection benefits as its predecessor, though has a smaller form factor and reduced part count which achieves a higher MTBF. Additionally, it now uses SLC NAND flash for faster throughput and a longer life cycle.

What RAID levels do the Series 7 products support?

The Series 7 RAID Adapter family supports standard RAID levels 0, 1, 1E, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60, (71605E supports 0, 1, 1E, and 10, only). New to Series 7 is a flexible configuration option. This option allows the user to specify which mode the card will operate in, RAID Adapter, Simple Volume, or HBA. RAID Adapter mode is the default, with access to the full suite of Adapter RAID features. Simple Volume mode automatically sets up all drives as logical devices, taking advantage of the DRAM caching capabilities for accelerated Reads. Lastly, HBA mode exposes physical devices to the OS (HDD, SSD, tape, autoloaders) and supports migration of disks from onboard SATA interfaces or other SATA/SAS I/O adapters.

What operating systems are supported?

The Series 7 family supports 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 www.adaptec.com.

What management utilities are included with the Series 7?

Adaptec maxView Storage Manager is a one-view utility which centralizes management. This new standards web-based utility enables remote RAID management, monitoring, and configuration through secure, encrypted communication and easily integrates with third-party clients via SMI-S.

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.

uEFI/HII support – HII (Human Interface Infrastructure) is an API that allows integration of third-party configuration tools into motherboard system BIOS.

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

How compatible is the Series 7 family?

The Series 7 Adapters are tested and supported on all the major vendors' motherboard, enclosures, and disk drives. Please visit our website at www.adaptec.com/compatibility for a list of tested components.

What is the warranty period on the Series 7 RAID adapter Family?

The Series 7 RAID Adapter Family 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.

When and where are these products available?

The Series 7 family will be widely available to the channel in October 2012 from worldwide Adaptec Authorized Retail partners. For a reseller near you, go to www.adaptec.com.

Market & Trends

What are your customers saying about the demand for 6Gb/s RAID adapters, with 12G on the horizon?

Interestingly, 3Gb/s solutions are still prevalent in the channel. That said, the vast majority of our customers are broadly deploying 6Gb/s solutions. This includes backplanes, server chassis, SAS/SATA disk drives, etc. Additionally, with the support of PCIe Gen3, our 6Gb/s solutions are designed to support the most performance-demanding environments.

Do you expect cannibalization of your products or an expansion of the business?

We expect that both Series 6 and Series 7 will coexist in the market. Customers who require the benefits of a 6Gb/s solution, a robust feature set and solid performance will deploy our Series 6 solutions. Customers who require higher port count density and/or extreme performance will deploy our Series 7 solutions. As a result, we see this coexistence as a greater benefit to our customer, while allowing us to expand our business.

Have customers tested the product? May we get in contact with them?

The products will ship on volume in October 2012; currently select customers are testing the Microsemi Adaptec Series 7 product line. We can provide this information in Q1'2013 once our customers have thoroughly tested our solutions.

Are boards available for sample before then?

Samples for testing will be available in September 2012 so we can provide a fully-featured and validated product. Please contact Adaptec Sales to be considered for a sample board.


Who is your primary competition? Can you compete with them?

LSI is our primary competitor in this market segment. We are positioned extremely well to compete in this space based on the fact that our Series 7 product family is the fastest performing, highest port-count solution in the industry. Connecting 8 to 24 drives directly eliminates the need for expanders, which removes compatibility, cost, and complexity from the Server environment while improving overall system performance.

Is the ZMCP feature offered on competitors' (LSI's) products?

Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection is an industry-first solution offered 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. Series 7 extends all three of these criteria, and is essential to ensure your data is protected.

Other companies have announced 6Gb/s PCIe Gen3 adapter solutions, how does this solution compare and how is this product family an industry first?

Our solution is the industry's only 24 port PCIe Gen3 6Gb/s SAS/SATA RAID solution. In addition, Series 7 delivers the industry's only 16 port low-profile/MD2 form factor RAID adapter. The significance of this is that it's the only RAID Adapter to truly take advantage of the Gen 3 bus bandwidth with 16 ports of connectivity. An 8 x 6GB/s port solution only achieves a maximum of 4.8 GB/s, while a 16 x 6GB/s port solution achieves 9.6GB/s. Simply put, in the same RAID adapter form-factor, our product delivers 2x the connectivity and performance of the competition.