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LSI Pushes 6-Gig SAS to 1M IOPS

LSI at Storage Networking World in Orlando this week plans to demonstrate that its 6-Gbit/s SAS technology can deliver 1 million input/output operations per second (IOPS) on a single server, which it believes will cause IT managers to take another look at direct-attached storage systems.

The company says it achieved 1 million IOPS using a single white box server powered by three LSISAS2108 6-Gbit/s SAS RAID-On-Chip ICs connected to 12 6-Gbit/s SAS 2.5-inch hard disk drives.

"We are at the beginning of the 6-Gig adoption cycle. The market is in transition and it is an exciting time," says Harry Mason, director of industry market for LSI. "With the ability to share storage capacity, customers are now embracing DAS-based solutions for sharing that storage across multiple hosts in clustered and virtualized server environments." Because of limitations in terms of distance, Mason acknowledges that SAS isn't designed for storage networks. "But it does provide substantial amounts of scalability," he says. "It will be good for environments that don't need to scale across a campus."

LSI expects servers with 6-Gbit/s SAS to begin appearing toward the end of the year. The key point is to offer IT departments more options, and to ensure that SAS keeps pace with the speed increases that other storage technologies and protocols are achieving. Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and InfiniBand are all moving toward faster throughput speeds, and SAS needs to keep up. "If I have a Fibre Channel network, then I will continue to use that and may move up to FC over Ethernet. If I use NAS that I will probably continue with Ethernet and iSCSI. If I have InfiniBand I will continue to use InfiniBand. But if you need screaming performance at a low cost, this is an option," Mason says.

The faster SAS technology may find a role on servers running Microsoft Exchange or SQL Server, those doing data mining, or in large data centers and server farms where there is a large amount of server and I/O virtualization. "The raw bandwidth we were able to deliver blew away SQL benchmarks. We see this as helping SAS to blossom," Mason says.

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