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LSI 9207-8i Mustang RAID Controller Host Bus Adapter Review - Final Thoughts

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

Final Thoughts

 

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The pace of the data explosion is quickening with more and more users everyday adding to the problem. Cloud computing, social networks and the ever-expanding amount of mobile devices are creating the need for an exponential increase in not only computing power, but also storage capacity and speed.

 

Getting more 'horsepower' from each level of the storage subsystem is becoming necessary to keep up with the increasing loads. The advent of PCIe 3.0 thrusts the datacenter into the next generation and the new line of HBAs from LSI are poised to deliver. PCIe 3.0 not only brings throughput and IOPS gains, but also technological advances in the specification itself, with transmitter and receiver equalization, PLL improvements and clock data recovery. Gaining higher IOPS and more throughput from existing equipment is certainly an exciting prospect for users facing performance challenges.

 

The disruptive flash segment is growing daily and advances are needed such as PCIe 3.0 to keep up with the pace of SSD development. We can safely declare that the 9207-8i delivers IOPS potential that will be hard to beat. Even with some of the highest performing SSDs on the market, we could not fully press the 9207-8i to its limits. There is plenty of headroom that will keep the 9207 ahead of the game for at least a short time.

 

The key to any new implementation is simplicity and a wide range of compatibility. LSI delivers this easily with integrated drivers inside every major operating system, with a single binary OS driver that operates any Fusion-MPT controller or adaptor.

 

Delivering the performance efficiently is a requirement as datacenters are becoming more focused on lower power consumption. The 9207-8i Mustang offers the highest throughput of any HBA that is on the market and does so at an I/O per watt ratio that is also among the best available.

 

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Another important consideration is pricing. The 9207-8i that we tested today has an MSRP of $305, which is a great deal considering the type of high-powered devices that it can handle easily. Typically, just one of the connected storage devices will cost more than the HBA itself, which is a fair price point in our opinion. This price point creates an I/O per dollar ratio that is simply unmatched in this category.

 

SSDs have stressed storage subsystems like never before. With the need for increasing speed and flexibility in the enterprise space, everyone seems ready to throw flash at every performance problem. I for one am all for this approach, it does not take much for me to get excited about flash storage. With LSI leading the way with the latest generation of their storage devices fully leveraging PCIe 3.0 performance, doing that just has gotten much easier.

 

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