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LSI's move into the channel started with its $20 million acquisition in mid-2009 of the 3ware RAID adapter business of Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC).
The acquisition made LSI the largest provider of storage adapters to the channel, Blanchard said. More specifically, it made LSI the top supplier of SAS adapters, with nine of the top 10 storage OEMs relying on the company, he said.
"But the 3ware acquisition was not about SATA or SAS," he said. "It was about getting into the channel. It was our signal to the channel that we were gaining strength."
The CTS2600 is LSI's way to get its foot in a market outside its traditional RAID controller market, said James Huang, product marketing manager at Amax Information Technology, a Fremont, Calif.-based custom system builder.
LSI's move into the channel will also speed the adoption of the new 6-Gbit SAS connectivity protocol, Huang said.
"LSI is a leader in RAID technology, and we look forward to working with them," he said. "LSI has the marketing power to drive the market. That's why they bought 3ware."
There is nothing to not like about the CTS2600, said Gautan Shah, owner and president of Colfax International, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based custom system builder.
"It's a modular system, so you have building blocks for customers," Shah said. "It's not a case of where there's one model for direct-attached storage, one for this SAN, one for that iSCSI environment. For us, it's a toolkit we can configure however we want to."
It also helps when talking to customers that LSI is not a startup, Shah said.
"Customers can be sure LSI will be around," he said. "Just look at the bunch of NAS startups that recently came and went, companies that took NAS software, put it on a plug-in dongle, and connected it to a server motherboard. And now nearly all of them are gone."