Storage system component maker Adaptec on March 3 introduced the industry's first 28-port RAID controller product line, which the company claims can deliver data I/O performance up to five times faster than that of competitors such as LSI Logic, AMCC and Network Appliance.
Adaptec's Series 5 Unified Serial RAID controllers were shown first at the annual CeBIT conference in Hannover, Germany, which opened March 3. Adaptec OEMs its products to companies such as Microsoft, Fujitsu, Dell, Hitachi, Samsung and Seagate.
A RAID controller is the circuit that allows the system's CPU to communicate with a hard disk or solid-state disk drive. Adaptec collaborated with Intel to improve the chip-level performance of the Intel IOP348 I/O processor, which is capable of a core speed of 1.2GHz. The Milpitas, Calif., company then integrated its proprietary Unified Serial technology platform for SATA (Serial ATA) and SAS (serial-attached SCSI) compatibility, Robert Cox, Adaptec's senior product marketing manager, told eWEEK.
The Series 5 controllers allow as many as 256 SATA or SAS drives to be connected to a single system, providing approximately 200TB of storage capacity, Cox said.
The new PCIe interface controllers are designed for bandwidth-intensive applications, such as Web hosting, digital video surveillance, medical imaging and communications, he said. The previous high for number of ports was 20, which Adaptec introduced last year.
The Series 5 product line's design of up to 28 ports-24 internal and four external-allows system integrators and OEMs to create tiered storage environments that ensure massive scalability while simultaneously simplifying the development and validation process, Cox said.
Adaptec also announced a new version of its Java-based Storage Manager software, which can manage multiple arrays across a network from a single console. It features 128-bit SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) security, new event management controls and alarms, and a calendar-based recurring scheduler.
It's a new kind of CeBIT. Read more here.
The unification of SAS and SATA, along with the newly upgraded Adaptec Storage Manager, provides flexibility to choose the right controller without worrying about trade-offs between drive support and functionality (because all controllers have SAS and SATA and run ASM), Brian Babineau, senior storage analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, told eWEEK.
"The operating system qualification is also the same for all controllers with VMware support in the mix; this is big in our minds," he said.
This is a significant upgrade for Adaptec, Babineau said, because of the unification and expansion to seven models.
"There are clear reasons, namely performance and capacity scale, of why customers would buy one model versus another," Babineau said. "With SAS and SATA support in each model, customers can run different disk drives within the same system, which promotes more efficient storage tiering. There are no bridges or extra components to make this happen within the same storage system, which keeps costs down for customers."
At the end of the day, customers (whether they are end users or OEMs) want to consolidate storage and storage management functions, Babineau said.
"Adaptec is making this easy with this new family of controllers because they understand the workloads of file, database and other content types. The unification makes the buying process simpler," he said.