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LSI Nytro WarpDrive 800GB BLP4-800 PCIe Enterprise SSD Review

LSI's second-generation WarpDrive BLP4-800 SSD offering includes four SandForce processors and eMLC flash for superb enterprise performance and endurance. (NASDAQ:LSI)

| PCIe SSDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Nov 12, 2012 4:49 pm
TweakTown Rating: 96%      Manufacturer: LSI

Introduction

 

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The LSI Nytro WarpDrive BLP4-800 is one member of the LSI Nytro Application Acceleration Products family. The LSI Nytro family of enterprise storage products leverages PCIe application accelerators to provide customers with a greater range of options to address performance challenges. The BLP4-800 directly accelerates the users' primary storage, while the other Nytro products present different options.

 

The Nytro XD solution provides caching software that allows LSI Nytro WarpDrive products to intelligently cache and accelerate traditional HDD SAN and DAS storage environments. The final piece of the three-tiered approach is the LSI Nytro MegaRAID Application Acceleration Card, which provides on-board NAND flash to accelerate HDD-based DAS environments.

 

LSI supplies the Nytro Predictor Software Tool for customers that need help in deciding which product would work best for their workload and environment. This software collects and analyses traces of the workload and identifies potential bottlenecks. This allows the software to predict which product would best accelerate the workload.

 

LSI initially embarked on the road to providing application acceleration products with the first generation LSI WarpDrive SLP-300. This initial effort teamed LSI with SandForce to develop a 300GB SLC product powered by six SF-1500 processors. Through this collaborative effort with SandForce a good working relationship was forged between the two companies, culminating with LSI purchasing SandForce in October of 2011 for $355 million.

 

The purchase of SandForce sends a clear message that LSI is serious about its entrance into the SSD market. The merging of the two companies is mutually beneficial, with the IP and new technologies offered by SandForce merging well with LSI's core competency of semiconductor and software development. Coupled with LSI's renowned validation and reputation for reliability, the two companies emerge as a serious contender in the SSD market.

 

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The fusion of the two companies allows LSI to develop products with more of the components under its direct control. This streamlines R&D, integration of the two technologies, and customer support should any issues arise.

 

SSDs bring the promise of lower power, cooling, space, and management costs than HDD solutions can offer. Utilizing a PCIe SSDs is by far the simplest of upgrades, and keeping the data as close to the processor as possible results in excellent latency. Overall, the option to provide flash acceleration to the server is ripe with benefits, from reduced TCO to greater CPU utilization in existing infrastructure.

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