Storage bits from the Intel Developer Forum

By Dave Simpson

August 22, 2008 -- From a storage perspective, Intel stole the limelight this week at the Intel Developer Forum with the introduction of much-anticipated solid-state disk (SSD) drives for portables, desktops, and enterprise systems, but a number of other vendors also used the IDF conference as a launch pad for storage announcements and demos.

For example, LSI showcased next-generation (6Gbps) SAS products, including a direct-attached storage (DAS) MegaRAID SAS RAID adapter that comes in an MD2 low-profile form factor and is based on LSI's SAS2108 RAID controller IC. The 8-port adapters work with the PCI-Express host bus. The company demonstrated the SAS adapters with Seagate's 2.5-inch, 6Gbps Savvio disk drives. The controllers support virtually all RAID levels, including RAID 6 and RAID 60.

Emulex touted the CPU efficiency of its 8Gbps LightPulse LP312000 Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs), with enhancements such as a Message-Signaled Interrupts eXtended (MSI-X) feature. The HBAs were coupled with Intel-based PCIe 2.0 servers with QuickPath technology.

Hifn, a member of the Intel Embedded Communications Alliance (ECA), demonstrated a Unified Storage Platform based on Hifn's Applied Services Processors (ASPs) and Express line of PCIe-based cards, which support Intel's QuickAssist technology. Also featured in the demo were Intel's 5100 MCH chipset with quad-core processors and Intel's Virtualization Technology and I/O Acceleration Technology. Hifn's ASPs and Express cards offload computation-intensive functions such as encryption, compression, data reduction, data de-duplication, and hashing for security. Continuous data protection (CDP) functions are supported by Microsoft's DPM and Symantec's NetBackup software.

RAID vendor Dot Hill announced that it will support Intel's EP80579 Integrated Processor in future RAID controllers. The resulting systems are expected to be deployed in the Hermes Spacecraft (www.hermesspace.com).

The SCSI Trade Association (STA) was also out in force at the IDF conference, with a number of STA members highlighting SAS products, including:

  • 3ware: 9690SA SAS RAID controller
  • Adaptec: Series 5 family of Unified Serial RAID controllers with four to 28 ports
  • Finisar: Xgig protocol analyzer/tester for SAS/SATA, Fibre Channel, Ethernet, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), and iSCSI
  • Fujitsu: 2.5-inch 15,000rpm and 10,000rpm disk drives
  • LSI: SAS-based MegaRAID 8880EM2 and 8708EM2 eight-port RAID adapters and the 8-port LSISAS3442E HBA
  • LeCroy: STX-460 test solution for developing and/or debugging SAS and SATA devices in speeds of 1.5Gbps, 3Gbps, and 6Gbps
  • PMC-Sierra: PM8010 SRC8x6G SAS RAID-on-chip (ROC) and a 6Gbps 24-port SAS expander
  • Seagate: Savvio 10K.3 SAS disk drives, Cheetah 15K.6 SAS drives, and Barracuda ES.2 SAS drives.
  • Xyratex: 2U, 24-bay OneStor SP1224 disk arrays with 2.5-inch SAS drives

For more information on SAS, go to www.scsita.org or visit the SAS Resource Center.

This article was originally published on August 22, 2008