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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.