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LSI's New 12 Gb/s SAS MegaRAID Controllers

LSI's yearly convention, known as the Accelerating Innovation Summit, has served as the showroom and launching point for many of LSI's most recent products. Following all expectations, LSI's 2013 meeting, which was held in November, would prove no different. This time around, however, the primary focus was cast on one specific product: the company's brand new line of 12 Gb/s SAS MegaRAID controller cards. With a total of six different cards unveiled and more on the way, it's safe to say we have only experience the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the latest LSI innovation.

12 Gb/s SAS MegaRAID Controllers

The LSI 12 Gb/s SAS MegaRAID framework allows for far greater efficiency, stability and lower costs when compared to lesser controllers. In fact, LSI's 12 Gb/s SAS architecture can support 60% more users than database systems using 6 Gb/s SAS. It has also been proven to greatly hasten the speed and performance of MSSQL, MySQL and Oracle database systems through improved utilization and allocation of system resources. This decreases the overall amount of time needed to complete individual tasks, which ultimately leads to greater productivity and job completion rates.

When tested internally using their previously announced DataBolt bandwidth optimization system, LSI's 12 Gb/s SAS MegaRAID setup took full advantage of the 12 Gb/s functionality. By combining the performance of two separate hard drives, each of which operating at a speed of 6 Gb/s, the LSI DataBolt framework is able to accelerate system performance and streamline operations. In effect, the DataBolt is able to double the amount of throughput, including read and write speeds, that are possible within 6 Gb/s hard drives of today. LSI's 12 Gb/s SAS MegaRaid controller cards are also able to make complete use of PCIe 3.0 standards, which allows for improved handling of available bandwidth and total utilization of system resources.

Another advantage of the 12 Gb/s SAS MegaRAID controller card is the presence of internal drive protection and diagnostic capabilities. Meant to determine if a defunct drive is recoverable, the brand new Shield State protocol offers automatic troubleshooting for failed drives.

Finally, the improved framework used in LSI's 12 Gb/SAS MegaRAID controllers decreases the total cost of ownership per server while still maintaining the expected performance and efficiency levels. The additional savings can then be used to invest in additional servers, new hardware or other areas.

Tom Swinford, senior vice president and general manager of LSI's Datacenter Solutions Group, introduced the technology by stating, "As datacenters worldwide face rapidly growing traffic and data consumption, the hardware infrastructure within these systems must provide new levels of performance, reliability and scalability. The new LSI 12Gb/s SAS storage solutions were designed with these needs in mind, and offer innovative new bandwidth optimization and diagnostic technologies ideal for larger, more scalable next-generation server and storage systems."


A total of six different models have already been released within the 12 Gb/s SAS MegaRAID 9300 line of cards, including the 9341 and 9361 series. The cards include either four or eight ports, with each variant providing full support for drive scaling. LSI's expansion line, the 9380 series, which offers cards that include either 24 or 48 ports, will be made available by the company in early 2014.


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