Smart storage delivers high performance for SDS applications

8th November 2017
Lanna Cooper

Microsemi has announced the production release of its new Smart Storage SAS/SATA adapters. The addition of these advanced Smart Storage adapters advances Microsemi’s Smart Storage offering for SAS/SATA server storage in data centres with full board-level solutions as well as silicon plus software for custom embedded solutions.

The entire product portfolio, which includes the Microsemi Adaptec HBA 1100 family, SmartHBA 2100 family and SmartRAID 3100 family, is based on the company’s latest 28nm SmartIOC 2100 and SmartROC 3100 storage controller Integrated Circuits (ICs), and delivers high performance, low power, reliability and feature-rich solutions tailored to a variety of server storage applications, including Software-Defined Storage (SDS), cold storage and enterprise applications.

The HBA 1100 delivers performance and flexibility for SDS applications. The SmartHBA 2100 is an adapter solution which delivers all the benefits of an HBA 1100 plus the option of basic hardware RAID on a selection of drives, suitable for SDS applications with the desire for RAID for boot drives or Small/Medium Business (SMB) applications.

The SmartRAID 3100 offers maximum functionality, acceleration through caching and the highest data availability for the most demanding enterprise storage applications. Each of the three solutions offers port densities up to 24 ports in half length, half height form factors, and come in a variety of port configurations.

“Microsemi’s unified Smart Storage stack offers one of the industry’s most reliable and highest performing storage controller software platforms, boasting performance of up to 1.7 million random read input/output (I/O) operations per second. The production release of our Smart Storage 12Gbps SAS/SATA adapters reflects our commitment to providing solutions for the specific needs of our server Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), server Original Design Manufacturer (ODM), hyperscale and system integration customers,” said Pete Hazen, Vice President and Business Unit Manager, Scalable Storage, at Microsemi.

“With a significant improvement in total cost of ownership, the inherent benefits of a unified firmware and software offering across the full line of products, a significant boost in performance and power savings of 40%, we are proud to offer to the market a highly differentiated portfolio of adapters to build upon the success of the Microsemi Adaptec Series 8 RAID solutions.”

Microsemi’s Smart Storage solutions can be used in any server storage application with 12Gbps SAS or 6Gbps SATA Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) or Solid State Drives (SSDs).

SAS/SATA HDDs and SSDs are forecasted by market research firm IDC to represent 80% of all enterprise drives shipped on an annual basis through the end of the decade. Microsemi’s Smart Storage solutions are performance-optimised around SSD performance and power optimised for HDD-based cold storage.

Features are available for both deployment extremes in addition to a myriad of hybrid SSD/HDD applications.

“Cloud and hyperscale data centres continue to push the boundaries of storage capacity per disk and overall total cost of ownership per Terabyte of storage,” said Brendan Collins, Vice President, HDD Product Marketing, Western Digital.

“Microsemi’s HBA 1100 series, combined with the HGST-branded Ultrastar Hs14 enterprise SMR hard drive, enables data centres to continue to address the explosive growth in storage capacity requirements with optimal power, performance and footprint.”

The Microsemi Adaptec HBA 1100, SmartHBA 2100 and SmartRAID 3100 all leverage the unified Smart Storage Stack. Each family has differentiating features.

The HBA 1100 is optimised for SDS, cold storage and raw high performance connectivity. It also includes:

  • Adapters with up to 24 ports using 28nm SAS/SATA-optimised silicon, offering an optimal power profile for the target applications
  • Support for host managed and host aware Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) drives
  • Broad Operating System (OS) driver support, including inbox driver support
  • Performance of up to 1.7 million Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS)

The SmartHBA 2100 is optimised for SDS applications which desire hardware RAID for OS boot drives as well as entry level RAID for SMBs. It also provides:

  • Basic RAID without compromising on the requirement for a fully featured and functional HBA, which is required for multi-path IO and SDS applications
  • Mixed mode enables drives to be independently configured as raw drives or as part of a logical volume
  • True hardware RAID for RAID 0,1,10 and RAID 5
  • Industry’s only basic RAID solution with more than eight ports

The SmartRAID 3100 is optimised for enterprise storage applications which require the highest level of data availability and data centre applications which benefit from caching. It also features:

  • Adapters with up to 24 ports using 28nm SAS/SATA-optimised silicon, offering an optimal power profile for the target applications
  • Zero Maintenance Cache Protection (ZMCP) with a cache size of up to 4GB and integrated cache backup circuitry for optimal cost, thermal performance and operating efficiency
  • Board options without cache backup
  • maxCache 4.0 included on all adapters with up to ~2TB SSD cache
  • Roadmap to maxCrypto controller-based encryption

The combination of the company’s Unified Smart Storage Stack, SmartRAID and SmartHBA, HBA product families and Microsemi’s SXP family of SAS expanders provide a complete server solution for storage management and connectivity.

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