LSI Launches New Nytro PCIe Product Line
LSI, one of the few IT companies that make semiconductors, board components and all their accompanying software, revealed April 2 that it is now producing its own branded PCIe cards for data center servers.
The company has provided these as an OEM partner for EMC and its VFCache server add-on card, which it introduced about a year ago. PCIe (peripheral component interconnect express) is now a frontline product at such companies as Fusion i-o, Micron, STEC, Texas Memory, OCZ and a few others.
eWEEK identified PCIe in the data center as having gone mainstream in mid-2011. PCIe flash cards use low-power/high-performance flash storage processors to improve application performance. Because they fit directly into a server (replacing much slower hard disk drives), the data sits right next to a server's processing chips. As a rule, the closer a data store is to the server processor, the faster the data travels and the better the application performs.
In its new Nytro product line, LSI combines fast PCIe flash hardware
with its home-developed intelligent caching and management software to
improve application performance.
"We're bringing intelligence to the technology and are very much focused
on acceleration solutions," Gary Smerdon, senior vice president and general manager of LSI's Accelerated Solutions division, told eWEEK.
"When you look at the gap in the performance of the [modern] CPU and
that of the storage system, there are multiple orders of magnitude
difference in performance when you're working in the memory domain
versus working in traditional storage.
"This is where a lot of the solid-state, flash-based technologies are working to fill this gap. What LSI is uniquely positioned to focus on is bringing the best of both worlds. You need hard drives for the vast quantities of data out there, but you also need performance, which is where solid-state comes into play," Smerdon said.
LSI's Nytro line includes three new products:
"A single Nytro WarpDrive card delivers the I/O performance of hundreds of hard disk drives while requiring less power, cooling and physical space," Smerdon said.
Milpitas, Calif.-based LSI also announced a Nytro Predictor Software Tool, which provides a guide to uses in choosing the right Nytro application acceleration package.
PCIe an Intel Creation in 2004
Intel introduced PCIe in 2004. The PCIe standard is based on point-to-point serial links rather than a shared parallel bus architecture, and is designed to replace the older PCI, PCI-X and AGP standards.
Solid-state storage analyst Jim Handy of Objective Analysis has forecast that the PCIe interface will become dominant in the enterprise SSD market in 2012, with unit shipments greater than the combined shipments of its SAS and Fibre Channel counterparts.
Pricing and Availability
LSI Nytro packages are currently sampling with OEM customers and are
expected to be generally available beginning in Q2 2012. Pricing for
Nytro WarpDrive cards starts at a manufacturer's suggested retail price
of $6,600; pricing for Nytro XD solutions starts at $9,400, and pricing
for Nytro MegaRAID cards starts at $1,799.
Chris Preimesberger is eWEEK's Editor for Features and Analysis. Twitter: @editingwhiz