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LSI releases bigger, better Engenio array

4900 offers more drives, features, speed

Security for virtualized datacentres

LSI has enhanced its dual controller array offering with the 4900, which has 8Gbit/s Fibre Channel support and a better RAID processor than the previous 3994 model.

The 4900 is positioned as a departmental array, with the large 7900 array targeted at data centre and high-performance computing applications. The 7900 had an upgrade in April.

Like the 3994, the 4900 can have 112 disk drives using FC4600 disk shelves. This gives it a 112TB maximum capacity with 1TB SATA drives. But FDE (Full Disk Ecryption) drives have been added to the Fibre Channel (FC) and SATA drive mix. The RAID processor is bumped up from an xScale 667MHz to a 1.2GHz xSCale - RAID levels 0, 1, 3, 5, 6, and 10 are supported - and the PCI-X bus used previously becomes a PCI-e bus with eight lanes.

The prior array could have four or eight 4Gbit/s FC ports. The 4900 can have four or eight 8Gbit/s FC ports, or four 8gig FC ports and four 1Gbit/s Ethernet iSCSI ports. LSI says this means that the array can do both FC and iSCSI SAN storage.

LSI says that these changes make the array faster. Its read IOPS rating has increased 25 per cent to 50,000 while the read bandwidth has jumped 60 per cent to 1.6GB/sec.

Array controller features include encryption, partitioning, snapshot, volume copy, and remote volume mirroring.

Customers with previous LSI Engenio arrays using the 4600 disk shelf can use these shelves if they migrate to a 4900. LSI says that four 3994 arrays - with 3.8TB of 10K FC drive capacity and 26TB of SATA drives - can be replaced by a single 4900, with a 64 per cent decrease in power and cooling costs and a 62 per cent reduction in rack space. Your mileage may vary.

The company will be delivering a native FCoE interface in the future, and it expects to support 2TB drives in the near future as well. The 4900 is available now to OEM customers. ®

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