LSI Logic Corp. (NYSE: LSI) announced today that its iSCSI RAID card will ship in May and that it expects OEM partners to introduce storage subsystems based on this technology as soon as the third quarter of this year (see LSI Debuts IP SAN Controllers).
Dubbed iMegaRAID, LSI's iSCSI card plugs into a simple JBOD (just a bunch of disks) and converts it to an intelligent iSCSI target array. The controller makes its debut just as the iSCSI market is beginning to brighten up. The specification, which allows SCSI commands to run over IP networks, has been through a brutal 18 months weathering the downturn in the economy and the ensuing IT spending crunch (see iSCSI Gets Go-Ahead and iSCSI in Exile).
The standard was finally ratified last month, and now several major players have thrown their weight behind it (see NetApp Blitzes on iSCSI, HP Kisses NAS, Nods to iSCSI, Adaptec Rallies Around iSCSI, and IP Storage Has a Pulse).
"The market has been lacking the target solution," says Ken Zarrabi, senior research marketing manager at LSI. "There are loads of HBAs out there, but that's not what the OEMs are looking for... By combining RAID with iSCSI we have the piece they are looking for."
Zarrabi says LSI has timed the release of its iSCSI card to line up with the projects of its OEM customers. The company licenses its MegaRAID cards, of which it has shipped 2 million to date, to vendors including Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL), Gateway Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and Unisys (NYSE: UIS). It's logical to assume these companies are interested in LSI's iSCSI cards too, Zarrabi says, but he declined to give specific details on OEM plans.