Adaptec ATA Raid 2400A Review

Reviewer: Joshua Jones
Category: 
Storage
Model: 
2400A
Price: 
$320

I love SCSI Raid systems as much as the next person. However, sometimes you need something a little less costly. I needed to update my test network. Of course what I wished to have just was not cost effective (nor realistic). So I began to investigate Alternative Raid controllers. Having used Adaptec's products extensively I began my research on their website. It seemed that their ATA Raid 2400A product fit the bill perfectly. So I forked out my $320, used some IBM 70GB ATA 100 (7200RPM) drives and decided on a Raid 5 array.

Specifications

Unique Features:

  • i960RS based
  • Up to 128 MB SDRAM
  • 4 channel support up to 4 drives
  • Raid 0, 1, 0/1, 5, and JBOD
  • GUI utilities
  • Hot Swap/Hot spare support
  • Online capacity expansion
  • ATA 100
  • 32 bit PCI
  • 3 Year Warranty

Getting it working

After installing the card and drives you first need to build the array. You can either enter the Card BIOS utility or you can use the included, bootable utility CD. OK, the CD really rocks! The graphical raid utility is really nice. Oh, and if you look really hard you will notice that the utility boots using Linux! I used RedHat Linux 7.2 as my Operating System. Here's the tricky part. The i2o drivers that shipped with the 7.2 distribution are total junk. Or I guess you could say that the drivers are broken. Anyway you should visit Tom Callawa's website: http://people.redhat.com/tcallawa/dpt. Just follow the instructions there. Apparently the instructions are good for all Adaptec raid cards. Just be sure to remember that the drivers and instructions are considered BETA! Do not blame him if you blow up your system using them and don't blame me either. They do work very well for me. I have a very nice Raid 5 array with 210GB of usable disk space. I do have one bit of advice. When upgrading the memory from the standard 32MB ECC SDRAM use ONLY the recommended ECC memory. I decided to try running a system with some memory I had lying around and ended up with a dead penguin. Try building 210MB array. It takes forever! I currently have a wonderful test/development server at my disposal.

I have not had the opportunity to test the card on other distributions. I would do some research before purchasing the card to see if your favorite penguin will work well with it. I am quite pleased with the cards overall performance. I do wish that Adaptec would officially support the latest Linux distributions as this is their latest IDE Raid controller. The officially supported Linux distributions are:

  • RedHat Linux 6.2
  • RedHat Linux 7.0
  • SUSE Linux 6.4
  • SUSE Linux 7.0

Their Official Linux distribution support is really limited. I am sure that resourceful folks out there will get it running on other distributions as well.

Conclusion

The Good - Pros
  • Great performance
  • Low cost due to the use of IDE drives
The Bad - Cons
  • The lack of up to date drivers
  • Really picky with memory
The Ugly - Problems
  • N/A
The Verdict - Opinion
  • Great Performance with low cost. They really need to keep on top of driver updates.

Innovation: 
3/5
Performance: 
4/5
Compatibility: 
2/5
Cost / Value: 
3/5

15/20

Overall score


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