by Jacqueline Emigh
For easy-to-install protection against desktop PC hard drive crashes, Accordance Sysems has rolled out the ARAID M300, a plug-and-play RAID subsystem that fits into the drive bay of a new or legacy PC.
Marketed by the company as “RAID for the masses,” the system is designed to provide all the hardware and software needed for 2.5-inch SATA hard drive protection through RAID 1 disk mirroring.
Connecting to the PC through a SATA or EIDE drive port, the ARAID plugs into 5-1/4-inch low profile (1U) drive bay. Although a drive bay of this size ordinarily supports one drive only, the ARAID M300 contains two drives.
The ARAID builds a RAID 1 disk array from the PC’s existing system drive and a blank drive. The two drives are designed to constantly mirror system, application, and user files, so that if one disk fails, the data will be retained on the other disk.
Disks in the drives can be hot swapped while the system is running. In addition, drives can be taken from the system for archive back-up. The company contends that system restoral can be done immediately by starting systems from the archive drive.
The ARAID M300 is not billed as supporting RAID 0, a different level of RAID aimed at increasing hard drive performance, rather than providing crash protection.
While RAID arrays originated in high-end enterprise data centers, most PCs today come with built-in RAID support, anyway. Although the first PC motherboards supporting RAID generally supported RAID 0 only, support now ranges from RAID 0 to RAID 1 or some combination of the two RAID levels, generally known as RAID 0+1, according to some industry analysts. Adapters are available if a PC doesn’t have built-in support.
However, the ARAID 300 is meant to eliminate the need for PC users to undergo the sometimes complicated process of installing and configuring a RAID setup, which can involve installing an adapter card (if needed) and hard drives in your PC, configuring the card and hard drives in the PC’s or card’s bios; and installing the controller’s drives in Windows.
Available now at list pricing of $395, ARAID 300 is also aimed at warning users about hard drive failure through a built-in LCD, an audio alarm, e-mail alerts, and optional SNMP network traps.