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History 2003: LSI Into Enterprise SATA-to-FC Disk Arrays

Supporting 112 HDDs for maximum capacity of 28TB

LSI Logic had no choice but to follow EMC and NetApp in enterprise disk arrays based on ATA drives, less expensive than FC and SCSI units.

All the more so since the company is especially well-positioned to do so, given that LSI specializes in storage components and controllers, with total annual storage revenues approaching $1 billion.

The new LSI solution is based on a rack of 14 Maxtor Maxline II 250GB 7,200rpm SATA HDDs.

Lsi History 2882

Two different FC controllers are available. The 2882, with 4x2Gb FC host ports, can support 8 racks, or 112 HDDs, for a maximum capacity of 28TB. Its older brother, the 5884, can take 2x as many host channels and racks, for a total of up to 56TB.

Mitchell Seigle, LSI Logic Storage Systems’ senior director of marketing relations, reveals no exact price, stating only that, in comparison with FC solutions, the price differential is 34-45% in SATA’s favor with respect to FC at 5TB, 51% at 20TB.

He supplied the traditional examples of applications for this kind of product: secondary storage, big sequential files (not transaction apps), fixed content documents, remote replication.

One of the first customers for the new LSI SATA unit will be Compagnie Générale de Géophysique, already a major consumer of LSl’s FC disk arrays.

Of its two largest OEMs, IBM and StorageTek, the first has already signed for the new product under the name FAStT EXP100, to provide an expansion unit of SATA storage for the TotalStorage FAStT600 and 900.

Big Blue also plans to introduce a solution incorporating SATA drives to help archive data using Tivoli Storage Manager archive retention and protection technology, while providing non-rewriteable, non-erasable protection and data retention controls. As for StorageTek, an agreement with LSI has yet to be announced. The tape company already has a comparable FC-to-ATA product of its own design, BladeStore B150 and B250 (6 to 150TB), which is currently available. But its new line, BladeStore B200 with SATA drives, scalable to 56TB and available in 1Q04, appears to come from LSI, using the same SANtricity storage manager.

This article is an abstract of news published on issue 190 on October 2003 from the former paper version of Computer Data Storage Newsletter.