LSI Intros PCIe Solid-State Storage Card For High-Performance Apps

The new WarpDrive SLP-300 accelerator card includes 300 GB of SLC solid-state storage capacity on a low-profile, half-length PCIe card, and offers performance of up to 240,000 sustained I/Os per second, said Rob Callaghan, technical channel marketing manager of LSI's Storage Components Division.

Single-level cell (SLC) is a type of memory technology in which one bit of data occupies one cell of the flash memory, making it optimized for performance and data reliability.

The WarpDrive is not an SSD drive, Callaghan said. Instead, it sits in a server to increase the performance of applications such as Oracle, SQL, and SAP, he said.

"A number of applications are able to see the WarpDrive as a very fast drive and reside in the device with their data to increase compute performance by ten times," he said.

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The WarpDrive is a PCIe plug-and-play card which, when installed in a server, is seen as a standard hard drive, Callaghan said. It supports all operating systems, so no custom APIs or software are needed. The WarpDrive can also be used as a boot drive for the server, he said.

Target markets include companies with professional video, financial, data mining, Web 2.0, and database requirements.

For example, in a post-production video environment, customers can load movies into the WarpDrive for better and faster access while editing, Callaghan said. "This is especially useful for high-definition movies and their huge files," he said.

In another user case, Web 2.0 companies expecting a lot of customer hits can use the WarpDrive to run commonly-used applications to make sure their customers are not dissatisfied by slow access, he said.

The WarpDrive is the latest in a string of high-performance storage products LSI is bringing to its channel partners.

The company last month introduced a new 6-Gbps SAS switch that permits two or more servers to share the same physical JBOD (just a bunch of disks), RAID array, or other SAS resources at distances up to 75 feet.

This Summer, it unveiled a new family of configurable storage enclosures and controllers that allow custom system builders to build storage appliances featuring combinations of 6-Gbit SAS, Gbit Ethernet iSCSI, and 8-Gbit Fibre Channel connectivity.

The WarpDrive is priced at $11,500 with a 300-GB configuration.

"As we've done in the past, we introduced what we think will be the most common configuration," Callaghan said. "Partners can expect more SKUs with different configurations over the next two quarters."