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LSI Engenio 2600:Mid-Range Performance, Entry-Level Price

As a follow up to its 3Gb/s SAS line of products, LSI Corp. is announcing the LSI Engenio 2600, a 6Gb/s SAS entry-level external storage system, which the company produces on an OEM basis. The product is intended to provide mid-range performance and scalability for an entry-level price. The Engenio 2600 offers up to 40,000 IOPS, more than a 200 percent improvement over the previous generation. The system supports up to 96 drives in either 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch form factors, and the enclosures can be intermixed in a single system. The system also includes several energy-saving features and typically requires a third of the wattage of a comparable system.

While the Engenio 2600 is not exactly bleeding-edge technology, that isn't a bad thing, says Mark Peters, senior analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group. "It is looking to appeal to a general user and market and not particularly at the margin." Compared to its predecessors, it offers improved functionality, better performance and scale, mixed connectivity, and encryption, as well as 6Gb SAS support. "LSI's contribution is to pull all these attributes into one package to bring genuinely enhanced value and ease of use to the broad entry-level and mid-range market."

"Fibre Channel traditionally costs more than SAS," says Steve Gardner, director of Outbound Marketing. "We and others are saying that SAS drives are the enterprise drives of the future, and that should provide more cost-effective systems." Nearly every server supports SAS these days. In addition, it offers remote mirroring for business continuity and disaster recovery, compatible with LSI's 4900 and 7900 lines -- which it did not previously support at the entry level.

Several types of drives are supported, including high-performance SAS, nearline SAS, solid-state drives, and self-encrypting drives. This means the systems are suited for a mixed workload, including messaging, online transaction processing, streaming, backup and loading operating system images, using both random and large-block writes. This requirement comes about more often now with increasing consolidation and virtualization. The encrypted drives come from Seagate and support 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard. In addition,  the 2600 supports up to eight 1Gb/s iSCSI or eight 8Gb/s Fibre Channel host ports per dual controller (up from 4Gb/s in previous models), with four native 6Gb/s SAS host interfaces.

The LSI Engenio 2600 is available now to the company's OEMs and is expected to be available to distributors and system integrators in the second half of the year. Specific pricing was not available, but is likely to be in the range of $10,000 to $25,000. The company would not say which companies it expected to license the product.