Unleashing the potential of storage infrastructure technologies

6th August 2018
Alex Lynn


Microsemi Corporation has leveraged its position on 24G SAS and PCIe Gen 4 tri-mode controller technology with the announcement of the SmartROC 3200 and SmartIOC 2200 storage controllers. 

The new devices contain critical technology specifically designed to meet the demanding storage performance and flexibility requirements for the next generation of data centres.

Pete Hazen, Vice President of Microsemi’s Data Centre Solutions Business Unit, stated: “Our innovations deliver a storage management and connectivity solution enabling customers to bring all the intelligence and performance of our acclaimed Smart Storage family into the era of PCIe Gen 4, NVMe, 24G SAS and universal bay servers. Our hyperscale and enterprise server customers will benefit from several industry-first capabilities including support for a PCIe Gen 4 interface with DirectPath technology for low latency NVMe transactions, and 24G SAS with Dynamic Channel Multiplexing (DCM) for efficient aggregation of lower speed SAS or SATA hard drives onto 24G SAS infrastructure, making this portfolio of controllers the most versatile and innovative in the industry.”

NVMe SSD usage in enterprise servers continues to accelerate through innovations in drive reliability and serviceability, as well as new standards such as SFF’s Universal Backplane Management (UBM) and FF-TA-1001 (U.3) specifications. Enterprise class storage management and data protection features offered by these new storage controllers is a requirement amongst many enterprise customers.

As universal bay servers begin to emerge to support this increased NVMe media adoption where deployment flexibility is desired, these servers will require the storage controller to flexibly connect to NVMe, SAS and SATA solid state drives (SSDs) or hard disk drives (HDDs).

Tom Lattin, Vice President and General Manager, Mass Market Platforms, Options and Software, HPE, said: “PCIe Gen 4, 24G SAS, U.3 and UBM are critical enabling technologies for HPE going forward, and for the server storage industry as a whole. Innovating around these technologies are an important part of our mission to deliver better business outcomes to our customers by driving increased value, performance and scalability while simplifying server storage solutions.”

New SAS and SATA HDD and SSD innovations, including multi-actuator hard drives and MultiLink SAS SSDs, will increase the need for bandwidth on the storage infrastructure, driving the need for a 24G SAS storage backbone. Microsemi offers the first storage controller solution to deliver enough bandwidth to saturate the PCIe Gen 4 interface to the CPU combined with tri-mode connectivity towards the storage media with support for all of PCIe Gen 4, 24G SAS and 6G SATA.

Jeremy Werner, Vice President of Marketing and Product Planning at Toshiba Memory America, added: “Future storage solutions will require 24G SAS storage bandwidth to take full advantage of SAS-based capacity and performance storage systems in a PCIe Gen 4-enabled data centre. We are looking forward to the arrival of Microsemi’s 24G SAS solutions as we expect these will allow the storage infrastructure to fully utilise the performance capabilities of Toshiba wide port and MultiLink SAS solid state drives, not to mention providing a more efficient storage backbone for existing 12Gbps SAS media.”

The first IOC and ROC with 24G SAS, the SmartROC 3200 and SmartIOC 2200 remove storage bottlenecks and enable systems to take full advantage of the PCI Gen 4 host interfaces in high performance or high capacity storage configurations. The devices also carry forward the value of Microsemi’s Smart Storage Stack, including its proven reliability, comprehensive storage management tools and maxCrypto controller-based encryption. These devices also feature Trusted Platform support, a new level of platform security which includes hardware root of trust which are aligned with initiatives like the Open Compute Security Project.

SmartROC 3200 and SmartIOC 2200 solution highlights:

  • PCIe Gen 4 CPU interconnect.
  • Tri-mode media connectivity, supporting PCIe Gen 4 NVMe, 24G SAS, and 6G SATA on any lane.
  • Innovative DirectPath architecture provides for lowest possible latency for NVMe transactions.
  • Dynamic Channel Multiplexing (DCM) technology provides full utilisation of 24G SAS bandwidth uplinks when aggregating lower speed storage devices.
  • Support for unified Smart Storage firmware, drivers, and tools.

The SmartROC 3200 and SmartIOC 2200 are part of a full end-to-end solution of storage infrastructure and endpoint solutions for PCIe Gen 4 and 24G SAS.

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