LSI Launches New Midrange Storage System

The Engenio 4900 storage system -- which is OEM'd to IBM -- features both 8G-bps Fibre Channel and 1G-bps iSCSI host interfaces, a modular architecture, and an option to add self-encrypting drives for higher-level security.

LSI, which supplies IBM with a high percentage of storage products that Big Blue rebrands as its System Storage line, Aug. 25 launched its own branded version of a second-generation storage system for midrange and small to medium-size businesses.
The Engenio 4900 storage system features both 8G-bps Fibre Channel and 1G-bps iSCSI host interfaces, a modular architecture, and an option to add self-encrypting drives for higher-level security. LSI's SafeStore Encryption Services help secure a drive's data from unauthorized access or modification resulting from theft, loss or repurposing.
Oracle's engineering staff benchmarked that the Engenio 4900's architecture delivers 1.6GB of data bits per second on sustained reads from disk, LSI Director of Marketing Steve Gardner told eWEEK.
"This system is really designed for high-end performance-it delivers more than 50,000 IOPS [input/output operations per second] disk reads, 25 percent faster than the previous generation," he said.
Because many IT shops do not yet have 8G-bps Fibre Channel connectivity, the Engenio 4900 also can be integrated "easily" into an existing 2GFC or 4GFC infrastructure, Gardner said.
"This helps to protect current IT investments while establishing a foundation for the future upgrade to 8GFC SAN environments," Gardner said. "Also, the ability to intermix FC and iSCSI host interfaces can result in good savings in infrastructure costs by allowing less performance-sensitive applications to run on servers utilizing lower-cost iSCSI interfaces."
The 4900's modular architecture allows users to start as small as 2TB in capacity and grow storage capacity up to as many as 112 FC or SATA (serial ATA) drives, including self-encrypting drives, Gardner said. The scalability allows users to intermix up to 16 FC, SATA or SEDs in a single drive enclosure.
The 4900 includes redundant components, automated path failover, and extensive online administration and maintenance capabilities, he said.
While LSI has added more features and options to the Engenio product line, it has tried to keep its pricing down as low as possible, Gardner said. Pricing starts at about $25,000, he said.
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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...