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STK and LSI hit a win-win strategic alliance with expanded OEM

STK and LSI hit a win-win strategic alliance with expanded OEM

Storage Technology and LSI Logic Storage Systems announced an expansion of their existing OEM relationship. Under the terms of this alliance, StorageTek will become the worldwide "master distributor" of co-branded distributed storage products. The companies will market a complete line of distributed storage arrays and management software that will be developed and manufactured by LSI Storage Systems and sold, installed and supported by StorageTek.

The first products resulting from this alliance are the D178 Fibre Channel Disk Array and the SANtricity Storage Manager 8.0. The D178 subsystem is a Fibre-to-Fibre RAID array offering improved performance via the incorporation of 2Gbit Fibre Channel and improved management capabilities with the introduction of the SANtricity V.0 management software. The D178 is targeted for both homogeneous and heterogeneous SAN environments (high-performance SMP/cluster configurations and midrange distributed servers). RAS features of the D178 include dynamic component replacement, non-disruptive software and micro-code upgrades and remote maintenance. More importantly, via the SANtricity V8.0 software, STK and LSI have added a subsystem-based point-in-time copy function and a subsystem-based peer-to-peer remote mirror (campus distance support). The D178 supports both FC-AL and Fibre Channel fabric attachment (Class-2 service) and offers subsystem-based LUN-masking for SAN security. Additionally, the SANtricity V8.0 management software is available as an upgrade to the STK D176 storage array.

The D178 is based on LSI's fifth generation RAID controller and its second full Fiber Channel (host and device interfaces) subsystem. The 4884 incorporates a 300 MHz control processor with a multi-bus architecture. The controller has incorporated FC mini-hubs for host and device connections. It can support four redundant host connections and dual FC-AL drive interfaces. The mini-hubs maintain loop integrity when a controller is removed. The 4884 supports Fiber Channel point-to-point, FC-AL and switched fabric class-2 service. The 4884 features 1GB of mirrored controller cache. It uses the LSI Spectra Memory ASIC with hardware XOR.

Evaluator Group comments:

This strategic alliance is a win-win for STK and LSI Storage Systems. LSI Storage Systems gains a worldwide distributor with enterprise service and support capabilities to complement its highly successful OEM business while STK fills out its distributed storage with the LSI hardware and SANtricity management software. STK will now offer the D173 (entry-level array), D176 (high-availability array based on the LSI 4774 controller) and the D178 array (high-performance based on the LSI 4884 controller). Additionally, the two companies can jointly collaborate on storage networking solutions, both hardware and software.

The D178 array is based on the latest generation LSI controller, the 4884. The new controller offers increased performance via new microprocessors, increased internal bandwidth and 2 Gbit Fibre Channel at the host and device interfaces. The stated performance of the D178 is twice that of the D176 (120K I/O/sec vs. 60K I/O/sec). However, of more importance is the introduction of the SANtricity V8.0. The new Storage Manager release incorporates both a PIT copy feature and a remote mirroring feature. LUN support has been expanded to 2,048 and host support to 64. Additionally, logical volumes can be dynamically expanded with the V8.0 release. STK is also offering the SANtricity V8.0 as an upgrade to existing D176 users. With the SANtricity V8.0, both the D176 and D178 should be attractive options for SAN consolidation offerings.

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