Feeds

Coming soon - LSI: Filer

A case of ONStor integration

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

LSI's customers will soon be able to buy a filer from the company as a result of its ONStor acquisition.

According to LSI's product marketing director Steve Gardner, the integration of ONStor into LSI is going well. Fifty ONStor staff out of the overall headcount of around eighty have joined LSI: "We got 100 per cent of who we wanted." It was primarily an intellectual property and people acquisition.

In a way LSI was well-acquainted with ONStor before the acquisition since it used ONStor kit internally. Gardner said: "We were ONStor's largest customer in 2008 (and) we used the ONStor gateway to replace NetApp. In some cases we put the ONStor gateway in front of Clariion."

The ONStor network-attached storage (NAS) technology fills a strategic gap in LSI's offerings. Once LSI realised it had a missing NAS capability it looked at a number of potential acquisition targets before settling on ONStor. Its aim is to bring file capabilities into its storage systems with a product that can serve both blocks and files: a unified storage array.

LSI will sell this through its OEM channel, with Gardner saying: "We think we'll get OEM traction." LSI's biggest customer is IBM and there is the possibility here of IBM having an alternative to NetApp to source its unified storage offerings. LSI also sells to Sun, SGI and Dell, as well as smaller companies like Teradata.

Gardner says that LSI is probably the largest true OEM supplier of drive arrays, suggesting that the Dell-EMC, HDS-HP and HDS-Sun relationships are not OEM ones but really reselling deals. He suggests that such deals don't deliver the margin to fund proper R&D, adding that Fibre Channel over Ethernet, 10Gbit/s Ethernet and integrating with VMware and Hyper-V are storage R&D challenges that need proper funding.

The hint is that LSI's customers could get these things before the companies reselling EMC and HDS kit. This could just be FUD of course, since both EMC and HDS have alternative and sizeable channels to Dell, HP and Sun.

Gardner said that LSI doesn't have a 2.5-inch drive capability at present but "maybe in the future" it will, and also: "We're looking very closely at a hard disk drive implementation of solid state drives."

Gardner said that flash storage is "an ongoing area of interest" for LSI. It understands that flash storage could come as an HDD replacement, a controller cache, or as a "lump in the wire." Streaming applications have different needs from on-line transaction processing ones. Gardner's conclusion: "I don't think there is going to be a single right answer."

The recession has slowed down SSD adoption, which is why there aren't more suppliers: "I think there will be more alternatives in the second round. We'll be ready to talk later." That signal's LSI's potential emergence as a flash storage provider in some shape or form.

When will the ONStor technology appear in an LSI Engenio product? "It's not yet possible to talk timing but we are working hard." If, or rather when, an LSI Engenio array appears with a unified block and file storage capability then that may give competitors Dot Hill and Xyratex something to consider. Should they get into the filer space too?

And, a question for all three, if they are going to start moving storage array supplier controller functionality into their products, then where should they stop? If NFS and CIFS interfaces are fair game, then what about snapshots, replication, thin-provisioning, data moving between tiers and more? Where does this trend end?

Whatever the endpoint is, it's probably no more than a temporary line in the sand before another wave of technology transfer down onto the commodity-supplied array-plus-controller combination starts. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.