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Watch out Fibre Channel: 12 gig SAS has arrived

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Xyratex is plotting to build a drive array with doubled SAS interface speed using LSI 12Gbit/s SAS gear.

SAS – or Serial-Attached SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) – is a way of linking storage media and controllers/servers that is enterprise class but without the complexities of Fibre Channel. First generation SAS runs at 3GBit/s and current SAS II implementations run at 6Gbit/s.

But LSI has a line of 12Gbit/s SAS I/O controllers and expanders which run twice as fast, and the storage and software firm is targeting them at PCIe cards and solid state storage which may saturate 6Gbit/s links, turning them into bottlenecks, as well as disk drive arrays.

LSI's technology includes a way of combining two 6Gbit/s disk drive lines into a single 12Gbit/s line. It's called DataBolt technology and helps existing 6Gbit/s products work with the newer 12Gbit/s technology. Xyratex is going to introduce a 12Gbit/s drive enclosure product using this LSI tech.

Xyratex SVP for business line management, Ahmed Shihab, said: "Xyratex closely collaborated with LSI to develop the ability to use 12Gbit/s SAS technology within our enclosures while delivering the necessary performance and I/O bandwidth required by our data centre and cloud-based service customers.”

LSI 12Gbit/s SAS tech is currently being sampled to OEMs. The Xyratex 12Gbit/s SAS storage systems should be delivered later this year. ®

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