Setting your drives up in a RAID array is still the best way to protect your information, maximize performance, or both. While many motherboards support software RAID solutions, the best approach is to use a dedicated hardware RAID card.
These cards have been the mainstay of professional storage solutions, since they unlock the full potential of even the fastest mechanical hard drives. However, modern NVME drives are so fast that the NVME RAID cards we have canít keep up. In other words, youíre leaving performance on the able in drives that werenít cheap!
GRAID technologies have come up with a novel way to accelerate NVME RAID and theyíve done it by sticking a GPU on the card!
What a GRAID Card Does
Currently the only cards sold by GRAID is their SR-1000 and SR-1010, for PCIe 3 and 4 respectively. These cards go into the PCIe slot in your workstation or server and then uses proprietary software driven by GPU parallel processing to coordinate all your NVME drives in the array.
Whatís really interesting about GRAIDís solution is that none of the NVME drives connect to the card itself. The NVME cards are still connected via the CPUís PCIe lanes, the GRAID card only controls the flow of traffic, none of the actual data passes through the cardís PCIe interface. So the bandwidth of the slot is not a bottleneck and CPU overhead is minimized.
The performance claims from the company are mind-boggling. Have a look at this chart for the PCIe 4 flagship card.
In both sequential and random read performance the SR-1010 promises to blow the doors off any other solution. The main drawback here is that it uses a proprietary RAID system, so once your drives are formatted for GRAID, you canít use them with another RAID controller.
Thatís fine if the performance numbers are true and it turns out they arenít far off. The GRAID card was tested by Linux Tech Tips and in their video itís clear that this card is something special. To us, just the idea that you can drop a PCIe card into your system without rewiring anything and have massively faster RAID speeds is a game-changer, and the future of pro-grade storage looks bright!