LSI Enhances PCIe Flash Line-Up For Mega DataCenters

Looking to build on its positions as the leader in SSD controller revenues, and the second largest enterprise PCIe flash adapter vendor, LSI has refreshed its Nytro lineup for the fastest growing segment of the high-speed storage market, the mega, or hyperscale, datacenter. With more than 50,000 Nytro units shipped (OEMs include IBM, Cisco, Oracle and Intel), the newest PCIe flash adapters feature a 3.2TB WarpDrive adapter, expanded capacity, connectivity and software capabilities across the Nytro MegaRAID product family.

Using IDC and Gartner server shipment data, LSI said only enterprise datacenters (30% of the 2012 server market) and cloud/mega datacenters (20%) are driving innovation, especially the mega data centers. Mega datacenters, Web 2.0, public cloud and Big Data are leading innovation.

There’s been a dramatic increase in what people call cloud or mega datacenters, driving huge amounts of innovation, and seeking ways to generate more value without spending more money, said LSI’s Rob Callahan. “What we’re doing with Nytro is trying to find solutions that fit within that paradigm.”

While enterprise flash is still a small slice of the overall storage pie, it is outgrowing disk. The enterprise external disk market reported its first revenue decline (to $5.9 billion) since 2009, while capacity shipped grew 26.4% (to 7.8 exabytes) year-over-year in the first quarter. The future looked much brighter for solid state storage (SSS) in conjunction with solid state drives (SSDs) in the enterprise, stated IDC, with revenues rising to $1.2 billion by 2015.

The arrival of flash in the data center has created a feeding frenzy with new and established vendors racing to roll out hardware and software solutions ranging from all-flash arrays and hybrid/mixed disk and flash (or mixed SLC and MLC flash with disk), to server-side flash and integrated compute and storage appliances. Everyone wants a piece of the action, but as Callahan notes, there are tradeoffs with all of these offerings, with no one solution fitting all needs. “They all have positives, and they all have limitations.”

Looking ahead, Callahan, the arrival of new flash geometries with larger capacities, and new connectors, will allow vendors to innovate, and provide creative ways to use flash with disk storage, and reduce latency and improve IOPs throughput. However it won’t just be about bigger, faster and better storage. There’s work being done on the application side that could significantly impact performance, providing hints as to what data will be needed next, he added.

New Nytro products include:

-Nytro WarpDrive BFH8-3200 full height Nytro WarpDrive adapter with 3.2TBs of eMLC flash capacity, a PCIe 3.0 interface for sustained throughput performance over 4.0 GB/s;

-Nytro MegaRAID 8110-4e integrates 200GB of onboard eMLC flash capacity with intelligent caching software and dual-core RAID-on-Chip (ROC) technology, with four external 6Gb/s SAS+SATA ports supporting connectivity up to 128 end devices;

-Nytro MegaRAID 8120-4e combines 800GB of onboard eMLC flash with intelligent caching software and 4 external ports providing connectivity and MegaRAID data protection for up to 128 SATA or SAS devices;

-Nytro Boot software provides the flexibility to partition onboard flash capacity as a boot volume;

-Elastic Cache extends the effective capacity of onboard flash with new algorithms that efficiently distribute “hot read” data for improved flash utilization and read workload performance; and,

-Flexible Flash configuration support provides the flexibility to utilize a portion of the Nytro MegaRAID onboard flash capacity as a data volume, allowing latency-sensitive I/O to be stored and accessed from performance-optimized flash.

 

 

Author: Steve Wexler

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