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LSI 9207-8i Mustang RAID Controller Host Bus Adapter Review - Specifications, Pricing and Availability

The rush is on for companies such as LSI to deliver a host of storage components that allow customers to reap the generational benefits that PCIe 3.0 brings.

| RAID/HBA in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Aug 8, 2012 4:22 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: LSI

Specifications, Pricing and Availability

 

The 9207 is a low profile (2.6" x 6.6") single PCB HBA. It can fit into 1U and 2U server racks easily and utilizes a single binary OS driver that will operate any Fusion MPT controller or adapter. Keeping the footprint in the host system low is always a crucial requirement for any application of hardware into the server. The LSI OEM drivers integrated into virtually every operating system eases the amount of time that is required for system configuration.

 

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Performance is delivered by the LSISAS2308 6Gb/s SAS IO / Fusion MPT 2.0 controller, which is under the black heatsink. To the right of the PCB we can observe the two x4 internal SFF-8087 mini-SAS ports that allow for connection of devices. These ports can be configured in 8ea x1 ports (for individual drives) or 2ea x4 ports for dual port enabled devices.

 

The 9207-8i can manage up to 256 Non-RAID SAS or SATA 1, 3 and 6Gb/s storage devices. This includes HDDs, SSDs and tape devices.

 

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The bottom edge of the PCB has the PCIe connector that enables eight lanes of PCI Express 3.0 connectivity. The SAS Bandwidth is half duplex, with 600MB/s per lane. The HBA comes with both full height and low profile brackets. The 9207-8i consumes 9.8W typical and requires a standard 200 LFM (Linear Feet per Minute) airflow. The previous generation 9211-8i by comparison consumes 7W typical, so there is a slightly higher power requirement for the 9207 HBA.

 

The 92xx series is covered by the standard three year warranty.

 

There are a few different versions of the 9207, with the "˜I' denoting the adapters with internal ports and the "˜e' versions sporting the external ports. There are also versions that have both internal and external ports.

 

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All 9207 models are shipped with IT firmware, with the option of flashing IR firmware to the adapter if so desired. There will also be versions shipped with IR firmware, which will be denoted with a 1 instead of a 0 in the product SKU. A 9207 will have the IT firmware at shipping, while the 9217 will have the IR firmware. Both models are physically identical, but the 9217 versions are commonly supplied to OEM customers.

 

IT is simply a pass-through mode for the controller, which minimizes firmware overhead. Many users, especially with SSDs, will simply use the device as pass-through with a number of devices in a non-RAID configuration. As the capacity of the attached storage devices is exploding, long rebuild times are becoming problematic, leading some to forgo RAID in some implementations.

 

The IR firmware stands for "Integrated Raid'. Integrated RAID is a low cost hardware RAID solution that is enabled by the Fusion-MPT architecture. RAID 0 (Striping), 1 (Mirroring), 1E (Mirroring Enhanced with an odd number of devices) and 10 (Mirroring and Striping) are available.

 

The ability to use the adapter in either IT or IR mode allows users flexibility to decide which version best suits their needs.

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