This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download "Storage magazine: The 15 top storage products of 2004."
Download it now to read this article plus other related content.
If you've got the slots, HBA and RAID card vendors finally have a few cards that support the latest bus architecture for Intel-based servers he last obstacles standing in the way of PCI Express are slowly falling away, and the stage is set for the next-generation serial bus architecture to step up as the successor to PCI-X, with which it is software-compatible, while providing much better performance.
Sales of servers with PCI Express are expected to take off this year. Today, only about 5% to 10% of servers ship with any PCI Express components, says Sean Hall, channel marketing manager at Broadcom Corp., a semiconductor company in Irvine, CA. But when you consider newer server designs, approximately half of them ship with at least a few PCI Express slots, he says, and that number should increase as the year rolls on.
PCI Express storage adapters such as RAID cards and Fibre Channel (FC) host bus adapters (HBAs) are also starting to trickle in. LSI Logic, for example, has a PCI Express version of its Ultra320 SCSI MegaRAID card, while Emulex has shipped and qualified its LP10000Ex family of FC HBAs. Emulex also announced recently that the cards had been qualified by partners Dell and EMC. Mike Smith, executive VP of worldwide marketing at Emulex, says that other server and storage array vendors are also qualifying the card.
Whether you should consider PCI Express RAID cards or HBAs depends on your performance requirements. "The only time PCI Express comes
This was first published in January 2005