Microsemi’s New Smart Storage I/O Controllers Unlock Flash Performance in Data Center Servers

by donpedro

Microsemi_Luxor_InfographicMicrosemi Corporation announced the production release of a new generation of storage input/output (I/O) controller products, the SmartROC 3100 and SmartIOC 2100, powered by the company’s Unified Smart Storage Stack. With the release of this new Smart Storage Platform, Microsemi significantly enhances its server storage solution offerings for data center applications.

With over 30 million unit shipments worldwide to date, Microsemi’s Smart Storage Stack offers one of the industry’s most reliable and highest performing storage controller software platforms. The Smart Storage Platform now available in production release delivers advanced security features, such as maxCrypto controller-based encryption and enterprise-class data protection support, while providing high performance and a significant advantage in operating costs due to significant power savings compared to previous generations and competing product offerings. The solution achieves up to 1.6 million random read I/O operations per second and delivers greater than 35 percent power savings compared to competing solutions.

“Our next generation server storage solutions offer a common firmware and software stack across host bus adapters (HBAs), redundant array of independent disks (RAID) and other applications, enabling our original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers and hyperscale customers to deliver a variety of custom boards with rapid time to market,” said Pete Hazen, vice president and business unit manager, scalable storage, at Microsemi. “Feedback from our lead customers has been extremely positive as they finalize qualification of designs anticipated for production launch with the release of next generation server platforms later this year.”

Microsemi’s smart storage solutions can be used in any server storage application with 12 Gbps SAS or 6 Gbps SATA hard disk drives (HDDs) or solid state drives (SSDs). SAS/SATA HDDs and SSDs are forecasted by market research firm IDC to represent 80 percent of all enterprise drives shipped on an annual basis through the end of the decade. Microsemi’s smart storage solutions are performance-optimized around SSD performance and power-optimized for HDD-based cold storage. Features are available for both deployment extremes in addition to a myriad of hybrid SSD/HDD applications. They also support data protection schemes including RAID, erasure coding and data replication.

IDC also expects server shipments to grow to nearly 12 million units per year by 2020. Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the recognized server market leader with revenue market share of more than 18 percent, according to market research firm Gartner.

“With today’s  data-intensive applications, HPE is committed to providing the performance, reliability, security and efficiency needed to address the evolving  data storage needs of our customers,” said Scott Farrand, Vice President, DCIG – Firmware, Software and Options, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “Through collaboration with technology providers such as Microsemi and their advanced storage controller architecture, HPE is able to create innovative server-based storage capabilities that deliver the scale, speed and resiliency that enable our customers to more rapidly gain new insights from their data, helping them to exceed their business goals.”

Microsemi’s SmartIOC 2100 and SmartRoC 3100, combined with the company’s Unified Smart Storage Stack, boast the following enhancements over its prior generation of storage controllers:

  • Common firmware and software stack across all product variants, increasing reliability, improving end customer use experience and reducing qualification efforts
  • Density optimized, with variants available in 8-, 16- and 24-port configurations for 12Gbps SAS and 6Gbps SATA
  • Two additional dedicated boot drive ports available with the 16- and 24-port variants
  • Support for the latest storage media, including both the latest generation of 6 Gbps SATA and 12 Gbps SAS SSDs for performance applications and SAS or SATA Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) drives for cold storage applications
  • PCIe Gen 3 × 8 host interface compliant to base specification 3.1
  • Enhanced hardware acceleration for RAID 0/1/10/5/6/50/60
  • maxCrypto, third generation data-at-rest controller based encryption engines
  • Significant integration of green backup components for footprint and bill of materials cost reduction for RAID applications with a protected write cache



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