Hardware-based FireWire RAID system introduced

FirewireDirect.com Inc. introduced the FireWire RAID Vanguard Wednesday, which it bills as the first FireWire-based RAID system to feature a hardware controller dedicated to the RAID process.

The Vanguard provides up to 240GB of storage capacity. Unlike FirewireDirect.com’s other FireWire RAID systems, the Vanguard’s use of independent RAID controller offloads the work that would otherwise have to be done by the Mac’s CPU.

The Vanguard also features a metal casing with a locking drive bay, cooling fans, and a suspended hard drive tray design that FirewireDirect.com claims minimizes hard disk vibration. The Vanguard uses the Oxford 911 ATA-100 bridge chipset, and it’s a plug-and-play FireWire device. The Vanguard features an auto-rebuilding feature that gives users full access to one volume while rebuilding the RAID 1 mirror. The drives also support NRAID, or spanning, which enables two drives to be spanned as a singly larger volume.

Each RAID Vanguard system offered by FirewireDirect.com sports two drives. Three separate systems are available with capacities ranging from 160GB to 240GB. Prices start at US$975.95.