Home > Products > Series 8 > Series 8 FAQS
Adaptec Series 8 Family

Series 8 FAQs

Answers to your most frequently
asked questions



Product & Features

How is the Microsemi Adaptec Series 8 different from the Adaptec Series 7?

The Microsemi Adaptec Series 8 is our PCIe Gen3 12Gb/s RAID Adapter. Series 8 offers up to 16 native SAS/SATA ports of connectivity, as well as an industry first 16 ports in a LP/MD2 form factor with built in ZMCP functionality (Adaptec RAID 81605ZQ, Adaptec RAID 81605Z). Series 8 still fully supports 6 Gb/s SAS and SATA device, in addition to 12 Gb/s SAS devices. Like the Series 7, the Series 8 family also offers a full suite of RAID features.

What is the performance of Series 8?

Series 8 delivers the highest performance in the industry with 6600MB/s throughput capacity and over 700K IOPS. For applications requiring a high number of operations, Series 8 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 8 delivers the fastest total IOPs out-of-the-box.

What RAID levels do the Series 8 products support?

The Series 8 RAID Adapter family supports standard RAID levels 0, 1, 1E, 5, 6, 10, 50, and 60. With Series 8 we also support the flexible configuration option. This option allows the user to specify which mode the card will operate in, RAID mode, Auto Volume mode, or HBA mode. RAID mode is the default, with access to the full suite of Adapter RAID features. Auto 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. With that Series 8 supports functionality of RAID adapters and HBAs and allows automated deployment of storage in data center environments.

What operating systems are supported?

The Series 8 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/support.

Is Series 8 supported inbox in Linux operating systems?

Yes, Series 8 can leverage drivers from previous adapter Series like Series 7 and therefore drivers that are inbox in popular Linux distributions today can be used to install the OS on Series 8 as well.

What management utilities are included with the Series 8?

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 8 family?

The Series 8 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 8 RAID adapter Family?

The Series 8 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 8 family will be widely available to the channel in December 2013 from worldwide Adaptec Authorized Retail partners. For a reseller near you, visit www.adaptec.com.

What applications is 12Gb/s PCIe Gen3 ideal for and why?

While 12Gb/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. 12 Gb/s SAS provides 2x the bandwidth over 6 Gb/s SAS; 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 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.

Market & Trends

What are your customers saying about the demand for 12Gb/s RAID adapters, with the limited availability of the 12G ecosystem?

First of all, Series 8 is still capable of supporting all kind of 6 Gb/s devices and given its high port connectivity it can achieve performance levels with 6 Gb/s devices that are similar to where other vendors with lower port count adapters require 12 Gb/s devices.

Besides this, the most benefit with 12 Gb/s SAS is seen with memory based storage devices like SSDs and there are already 12 Gb/s SAS SSD devices out that can be used and that are tested with Series 8 RAID Adapters.

Please visit our website at www.adaptec.com/compatibility for a list of tested components including 12 Gb/s SAS devices.

Microsemi Adaptec is working with eco system partners to qualify Series 8 with more upcoming 12 Gb/s components.

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

We expect that both Series 7 and Series 8 will coexist in the market. In fact, the way we designed Series 8 product portfolio it fills some gaps in the Series 7 product line and complements it. Also, SATA devices stay at 6 Gb/s performance and can be used with both Series 7 and Series 8 product lines. Customers who require the benefits of a 6Gb/s solution, a robust feature set and solid performance will deploy our Series 7 solutions. Customers who require higher port count density and/or extreme performance will deploy our Series 7 and Series 8 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 December 2013; currently select customers are testing the Microsemi Adaptec Series 8 product line. We can provide this information in Q1'2014 once our customers have thoroughly tested our solutions.

Are boards available for sample before then?

Samples for testing will be available in September 2013 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 8 product family is the fastest performing, highest port-count solution in the industry. Connecting 8 to 16 drives directly eliminates the need for expanders in many use scenarios, 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 8 extends all three of these criteria, and is essential to ensure your data is protected.

Other companies have announced 12Gb/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 16 port PCIe Gen3 12Gb/s SAS/SATA RAID solution. In addition, Series 8 delivers the industry's only 16 port low-profile/MD2 form factor RAID adapter with built in ZMCP which allows for better cooling and more dense solutions.