LSI expands in channel with external RAID

Posted on June 22, 2010

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By Dave Simpson

– LSI expanded its channel presence today with the announcement of the CTS2600 family of building blocks, which will enable its "white box" channel partners to build external RAID arrays. Previously, LSI was focused primarily on server-based direct-attached storage (DAS) components.

LSI (NYSE: LSI) is bringing to the channel essentially the same technology that its Engenio division supplies to OEMs.

"The CTS2600 is based on the same technology LSI provides to OEMs," says Brent Blanchard, LSI's director of worldwide channel sales and marketing, "but we're very sensitive to channel conflict. OEMs are focused on the traditional IT space, whereas our white box partners may be focused on non-traditional IT environments such as managed hosting, cloud computing, digital content, medical, etc."

The CTS2600 is a family of components that includes 2U enclosures that can be configured with 12 3.5-inch disk drives or 24 2.5-inch drives. Both drive options are 6Gbps SAS devices (7,200rpm, 10,000rpm or 15,000rpm). Integrators can also configure the CTS2600 with solid-state disk (SSD) drives from Pliant Technology. The RAID arrays can include one or two LSI controllers, with 2GB of cache per controller.

But the real flexibility comes in the options for host connectivity. Systems/storage integrators can configure the RAID arrays with four 6Gbps SAS ports, four 8Gbps Fibre Channel ports and two 6Gbps SAS ports, or with four 1Gbps iSCSI ports and two 6Gbps SAS ports. In each case, the backend connections are 6Gbps SAS.

Via expansion enclosures, integrators can expand up to 96 drives using 2U enclosures with either 12 3.5-inch SAS drives or 24 2.5-inch SAS drives.

LSI cites performance of more than 40,000 I/Os per second (IOPS) on random disk reads, and bandwidth of 4,000MBps on sustained reads from disk.

Software options include snapshots, volume copy and, on Fibre Channel versions of the array, remote volume mirroring.

The CTS2600 components will be available from LSI's distributors and system integrators on July 7. LSI expects CTS2600-based RAID arrays to fall in the $5,000 to $20,000 price range.

Related articles:
LSI ships 6Gbps SAS RAID array
PMC-Sierra to buy Adaptec's channel storage business

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