LSI Says End-to-End 6Gb/s SAS a Reality

By Steve Wexler  |  Print this article Print


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LSI has partnered with SuperMicro and Seagate to demonstrate to the channel that end-to-end 6Gb/s SAS solutions are real and available now, and even better, they deliver better-than-expected performance.

Having just completed a better-than-expected third quarter (ended Oct. 4), LSI is looking to cash in on the economy's "modest recovery" by demonstrating to the channel that end-to-end 6Gb/s SAS solutions are real and available now. The company has partnered with SuperMicro and Seagate Technology to showcase the technology, products and benefits, says LSI's David Graas, technical marketing manager.

"My role is to help promote LSI in the channel and one way to do that is show more of a solution focus," he said. "We wanted to show the advancement of the 6-gig ecosystem in the market." So the company has partnered with SuperMicro, "a very strong player in the 6-gig market," and drive-maker Seagate, which happens to be one of LSI's biggest customers, to "show a true 6-gig system."

The solutions combine LSI's 6Gb/s SAS silicon and MegaRAID technology with SuperMicro's 6Gb/s SAS Server Building Block Solutions and Seagate's 6Gb/s SAS drives to enable scalable direct-attached storage topologies that deliver high I/O performance in large cluster and data center environments. The SuperMicro SC216 and SC936 server storage chassis, each powered by an LSI 6Gb/s SAS expander, support up to 24 2.5-inch or 16 3.5-inch 6Gb/s SAS Seagate Savvio drives. An optional motherboard with an integrated LSI 6Gb/s SAS controller IC allows each chassis to operate as a server. Server storage performance can be further enhanced by adding either an LSI MegaRAID or SuperMicro Universal I/O (UIO) controller card, both powered by an LSI 6GB/s SAS RAID-on-Chip (ROC).

The objective was showing that end-to-end 6Gb/s SAS solutions are real, said Graas, but a "nice surprise" was previously unavailable performance. It's a big improvement on what can be done with a 3Gb/s system, "the ability to leverage the platform more thoroughly." He says this is good news for the channel that can now build a lower-cost white-box system that provides a very robust solution.

The performance improvements are significant, says LSI. In a recent technology demonstration, SuperMicro's SC216 storage chassis achieved read throughput performance exceeding 2.5 GB/s and write throughput of more than 3.0 GB/s, representing a 2X performance improvement compared to the previous-generation product.

This is good news for the channel, said LSI's Tom Kodet, worldwide channel product marketing manager. "What's important is the pieces are available, the components are available and ready to be integrated into a system." Throw in the "unprecedented performance" and partners such as SuperMicro and Seagate, and it's really good news for LSI, too

"There is an inherent goodness about 6 gig," said Kodet. "This is the next gen of our product, the next incarnation of our technology, and the next incarnation of SuperMicro's storage platform."

Graas added that initial feedback has been good, especially the do-more-with-less aspect. "For a minimal cost increase, you are able to leverage that hardware a lot more." By swapping out 3Gb/s for 6Gb/s, you "get a lot of payback from the same box."

Server virtualization is a big driver for 6Gb/s technology, said Kodet. The ability to easily carve up and dynamically allocate storage is "a big dynamic in our marketplace. We call it the resurgence of DAS."

Other drivers include cloud computing, video, Web hosting and data centers, said Graas. "The throughput demand for applications is becoming higher and higher."

More information is available at www.lsi.com.


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