Adaptec Series 7H, 7He, 6H
Adaptec has announced a new line of 6Gb/s HBA's (Host Bus Adapter) in the form of the Series 7H, 7He and 6H families. This new line of HBA's marks Adaptec's return into the HBA business, a market that Adaptec had chosen to sit out of for the past few years.
Adaptec was acquired in 2010 by PMC-Sierra, a semi-conductor developer. Soon after the merger of the two companies, Adaptec launched their 6 Series RAID controllers and adaptors. The 6 Series of controllers were designed before the resources of PMC-Sierra were brought into play. The Series 7 products are the first generation of controllers from Adaptec that reap the benefits of their merger with PMC.
Adaptec is following the Series 7 RAID controller release with their return to the HBA market. This strategic decision to rejoin the HBA market is due to the changing realities of server design. By anticipating the needs of the HBA market, Adaptec hopes to come in with new features that will resonate with their customers. Companies such as Facebook and Google are deploying their own custom-built servers into their datacenters, and the need for HBAs and slim storage solutions has become increasingly prevalent.
One of the greatest aspects of these new HBAs is the ability to pack more density into slim servers. To cram enough connectivity for the plethora of available ports onboard these small cards, Adaptec is transitioning to the HD MiniSAS specification one year early. Most companies are waiting for the 12Gb/s generation to make the transition, but Adaptec feels that this will put them a full year ahead of the competition in instituting the switch to HD MiniSAS.
This new line features the industry's only PCIe Gen3 low profile/MD2 form factor HBA with 16 native ports, and the industry's only solution to take full advantage of the PCIe Gen3 bandwidth with one card. This results in the only SAS/SATA HBA solution that is capable of 1 million IOPS with 512Byte blocks.
The features are powered by new PMC silicon in the form of the 16 native port PM8019 and PM8018 processors. These controllers provide SAS 2.0 connectivity via the PCIe Gen3 x8 bus. With sequential read and write speeds on the PCIe Gen3 bus clocked at 6400MB/s, and over 800,000 IOPS with the 4K block size, these HBA's surely will not disappoint in the speed category.
Another new feature employed by two of the Series 7He models is the MaxCrypto functionality. This provides the industry's only HBAs that feature encryption. We will cover this in further detail in the following pages.
Pricing has not been announced yet, but prices are projected to be competitive with competing solutions. Full availability for all of the product family will be in Q2 of 2013. We expect to have in some silicon for testing well before that, but first let's take a look at the entire line-up, and some of the functionalities that these controllers bring with them.