AMD Does RAID On a Chip

AMD (NYSE: AMD) is adding RAID data protection to its server chips, thanks to an OEM deal with Dot Hill (NASDAQ: HILL).

Dot Hill’s RAIDCore virtual RAID adapter technology will be embedded into platforms based on the AMD SR5690/SP5100 server chipset.

AMD will bundle two new SP5100 chipset models with a license to Dot Hill’s RAIDCore VRA technology solutions. The SP5100R will support RAIDCore Basic, which offers RAID levels 0, 1 and 10, while the SP5100R5 supports RAIDCore Plus with RAID levels 0, 1, 5 and 10.

RAIDCore VRA solutions support Windows and Linux and offer a storage “system on a chip” that provides the same functionality as hardware-based RAID. The technology uses the power of multi-core server CPUs to provide integrated storage capabilities and process RAID tasks without compromising performance.

Adaptec (NASDAQ: ADPT) and LSI (NYSE: LSI) are other data storage vendors offering software RAID solutions, which cost a fraction of hardware RAID adapters and also save on power and cooling costs.

Patrick Patla, vice president and general manager of AMD’s Server/Workstation and Embedded Division, said in a statement, “As the very low power server designs and other platforms based on the AMD SP5100 server become available through numerous server motherboard OEMs and distributors, small businesses and enterprises will have an inexpensive and easy-to-implement alternative to traditional hardware-based RAID solutions. Backed by Dot Hill’s many years of RAID expertise, RAIDCore VRA technology can provide our customers with highly sophisticated RAID capabilities built right into the chipset.”

System builders and OEMs that install the AMD SP5100R or SP5100R5 RAID solution will also be able to upgrade to the full-featured version of RAIDCore, RAIDCore VST, which supports a number of enhanced RAID features such as RAID 1n/10n (multi-volume mirroring), distributed sparing and additional migration features, by purchasing an upgrade license from Dot Hill.

Dot Hill’s RAIDCore technology enables host-based RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and 50 directly on motherboard SATA I/O ports, and the same software stack with additional features enabled may also be used for SAS systems that use a built-in or PCIe host adapter-based SAS/SATA chipset.

Other features include the ability to create spanned virtual RAID arrays, which allows users to create a virtual disk that spans across SAS/SATA I/O controllers and SATA-based core logic chipsets. The software also supports AMD SB600 and SB700 chipsets and maximizes use of mixed capacity drives.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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