LSI augments 6Gbps SAS/SATA controllers

By Dave Simpson

LSI has begun shipping the second generation of its 6Gbps SAS/SATA MegaRAID controllers to its channel partners. The controllers are based on the company’s dual-core LSISAS2208 RAID-On-Chip  (ROC) devices, which have two 800MHz PowerPC processors and 1GB of DDRIII cache memory.

Versus its competitors, which include PMC-Sierra, LSI is emphasizing performance, citing up to 465,000 I/Os per second (IOPS). However, it’s important to note that those performance figures come from a configuration consisting of an internal MegaRAID controller connected to eight solid-state disk (SSD) drives and running LSI’s FastPath software with RAID-5 random I/Os. Without FastPath acceleration software and SSDs, LSI claims 200,000 IOPS, or 3X the performance of the company’s previous generation controllers.

LSI claims throughput of 2.7GBps on sequential reads and 3.2GBps on sequential writes, and sustained bandwidth of 2,600MBps on RAID-5 writes (a 67% increase over LSI’s previous generation RAID controllers).

“We’re targeting applications that need very high levels of I/O, such as databases and financial apps, digital video broadcast, medical imaging, Web 2.0 and cloud computing” says Suresh Paniker, LSI’s senior manager of worldwide channel marketing. “The goal is to close the gap between CPU performance and storage performance, and to get the full performance benefits from SSDs.”

The new MegaRAID controllers support up to 240 SAS/SATA/SSD drives.

The controllers are compatible with LSI technologies such as Dimmer Switch, SSD Guard, SafeStore and CacheCade software for SSD caching and tiering.

The MegaRAID SAS 9265-8i and 9265-8i kit, shipping today, have eight internal ports and are priced at $780 and $835, respectively. A version with eight external ports – the MegaRAID SAS 9285-8e – will ship by the end of the month and is expected to be priced at $995. All of the cards support the x8 PCIe 2.0 host interface.

Related articles:

PMC-Sierra ships 6Gbps SAS controllers

LSI ships SSD-based accelerator card

This article was originally published on March 01, 2011