LSI Prices Combo SAS/SATA Cards To Spur Adoption


LSI this week repriced its current line of combination SAS/SATA adapter cards so that there is no price premium over competitors' SATA-only cards, said Tom Kodet, acting worldwide channel manager for the Milpitas, Calif.-based vendor.

It also introduced a new line of RAID adapters under its MegaRAID family that supports both serial-attached SCSI (SAS) and serial ATA (SATA) hard drives, again at no premium over comparable SATA-only cards, Kodet said.

Kodet estimated that about 75 percent of RAID adapter sales goes to the top 10 or so server OEMs. LSI's new offerings are aimed mainly at system builders and other solution providers, he said.

Combination SAS/SATA RAID adapters can connect to both SAS and SATA drives simultaneously, allowing solution providers to implement storage arrays that include both high-speed SAS drives for applications requiring higher performance and SATA drives for more cost-sensitive applications such as disk-based backups, Kodet said.

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Because the original industry specifications call for SAS adapters to be backward compatible with SATA drives, the two are interoperable, he said.

"So our SAS controllers can offer SATA compatibility with no price premium over competitors' SATA-only products," he said. "We are repricing our SAS boards with SATA connectivity to be equivalent to SATA-only prices to go head-to-head with SATA."

Existing LSI adapters that will be repriced include those with four, eight or 16 internal ports, Kodet said. In addition, LSI this week introduced four new adapters. They include four-port and eight-port adapters, each of which is available with PCI-X or PCI Express connectivity. The four-port adapters carry a list price of $229, compared to $315 for the eight-port models.

Richard Eckhardt, senior product manager at Systemax Manufacturing, a Fletcher, Ohio-based system builder and wholly-owned subsidiary of Systemax, said LSI has a winning strategy with its combination SAS/SATA RAID adapters.

The move will also help jump start the SAS market, Eckhardt said.

"SAS has been slow to market for the same reason SCSI has been fading out: SATA drives are big and cheap," he said. "With LSI, we can bring SAS and SATA together."

Eckhardt said he is testing beta versions of the adapters, and he expects to have the final versions when they start shipping in a few weeks. "We'll be able to offer them shortly after the launch once we check out hard drive compatibilities," he said.