Accusys ExaSAN A16S3-PS review

Is this furiously fast storage array the future for HD video editing?

Storming performance

We ran Iometer 1.1 on our single 25TB RAID5 array to get some raw performance results and found them to be very much in-line with Accusys' claims. After leaving each test to settle for an hour, Iometer reported impressive raw read and write throughputs of 2,540MB/sec and 1,998MB/sec which equates to a tidy 19.8Gb/sec and 15.6Gb/sec.

For video performance testing we used the AJA System Test utility configured for a 16GB file size and a video frame size of 2048 x 1556 with 10-bit RGB. Averaging the results from five runs, we saw read and write speeds of 2,074MB/sec and 1,544MB/sec Accusys quotes 2,223MB/sec and 1,786MB/sec for this specific test but it used 16 SAS drives.

Compared with Thunderbolt 2 storage products, the ExaSAN is significantly faster. In our review of LaCie's 8big Rack Thunderbolt 2 in our sister title, PC Pro (web ID:390289), we recorded top read and write speeds of 1,180MB/sec and 1,120MB/sec.

It'll give more costly 16Gbps FC storage arrays a run for their money as well. In our exclusive review of InforTrend's DS1024B hybrid array (web ID:23786), we recorded read and write speeds of 12.4Gb/sec and 11.4Gb/sec for a single 16Gbps FC connection.

Conclusion

Currently only available in the UK from Salon Pro Sales (www.salonprosales.com), the ExaSAN A16S3-PS looks good value with prices starting at 4,776 ex VAT for a diskless model. Along with extensive RAID protection and expansion options, it offers some innovative storage management features and its impeccable performance makes it an ideal choice for 4K video editing.

Verdict

The affordable ExaSAN A16S3-PS beats Thunderbolt 2 hands down for performance making it a top candidate for 4K video editing.

Chassis: 3U rack Storage: 16 x SAS/SATA hot-swap drive bays Power: 2 x 400W hot-plug PSUs and dual cooling fan modules RAID: LSI SAS3108 with 2GB DDR3 ECC cache Array support: RAID0, 1, 10, 5, 6 Expansion: Mini-SAS port (max 3 JBODs) HBA: Accusys Z2M-G3 dual port PCIe 3.0 Cable: 2 metre copper QSFP Management: Accusys RAIDGuardX Options: 100 metre optical QSFP cable, £638 ex VAT

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