LSI Logic Launches New SMB Storage Systems for OEMs

In a week in which it also acquires a chip company for $4 billion, busy LSI unveils a new family of SAS systems for the midtier market.

Its only Tuesday, yet its already been quite a week for LSI Logic.

The Milpitas, Calif.-based maker of data storage systems and hard-drive processors Dec. 4 acquired a company and then Dec. 5 introduced new storage system technology aimed at the SMB market that it will supply to its OEM partners.

LSI Logic, which has a wide-ranging IT product and service line, said it would buy Agere Systems for about $4 billion in stock, extending in a big way LSIs reach into the mobile phone chip market.

In fact, LSI has been busy for months on the acquisition trail. On Oct. 25, the company announced the purchase of Israeli firm StoreAge Networking Technologies in a cash deal worth about $50 million.

"Smart move. They needed a position in storage virtualization. Now they have one," said John Webster, principal IT adviser at Illuminata in Nashua, N.H.

On the new technology front, LSI introduced its newest family of SAS (serial attached SCSI) storage systems, designed for SMBs.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read more about LSIs purchase of StoreAge.

"This announcement isnt about products per se," said LSI director of product marketing Steve Gardner. "Its about technology, and how LSI will supply it to our business partners."

The first models—the Engenio 1333 and 1331—feature SAS-to-SAS external RAID arrays for a shared DAS (direct attached storage) infrastructure. The systems will not be sold as branded products on the open market; they are immediately available to LSI OEM partners in both single- and dual-controller models.

The new systems enable businesses to benefit from the advantages of shared storage, which include server consolidation, unified management, data protection features and increased efficiencies within the IT infrastructure, Gardner said.

Managed by LSIs own Simplicity Storage Manager software, the systems bring an intuitive, task-based management structure that enables "a quick look at the whole system: where the hot spots are, what background functions are enabled, and many others. These functions are normally available only in high-end enterprise systems, but weve got them here," Gardner said.

Simplicity software is designed to provide customers with a familiar user experience that allows them to deploy external storage solutions quickly. Once installed, the Simplicity software allows storage systems—and all their components—to be discovered and configured to work together in "fewer than 10 clicks," Gardner said.

Does Simplicity really simplify storage installation and management?

"Yes, but again that will depend on who is ultimately delivering the Simplicity solution and how," Illuminatas Webster told eWEEK. "LSI says 10 clicks to up and running. Im not sure you can make it much easier than that."

SMB customers have a diverse set of storage requirements, but the need for affordable external storage that is easy to deploy, manage and scale is consistent across the market, said Tony Prigmore, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group.

"With the introduction of its new family of Engenio systems, LSI has not only made external storage a viable option, but one that addresses a spectrum of applications through the use of SAS technology," Prigmore said.

The model 1331 and 1333 systems feature a modular design, enabling configured system capacity to be easily matched to initial amounts of storage needed and scale up as storage requirements grow. Capacity of the model 1331 and 1333 systems ranges from a two-drive configuration with 146GB of storage to a 48-drive configuration offering 13.5 TB of storage using 300GB SAS drives.

"With the introduction of our new line of Engenio systems, LSI is the only company in the industry to deliver an end-to-end SAS portfolio that addresses every segment of the market, including the SMB space," said Phil Bullinger, senior vice president, Engenio Storage Group, LSI Logic.

The multi-ported model 1333 is an entry-level solution for clustered storage systems that meets the external two-node clustering requirements of end users. Clustering allows multiple servers to share access to data stored on a single storage system and keeps applications running on a secondary server should the primary fail.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...