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These days it's hard for anything to be too cheap. Customers submitting 2004 business-technology budget requests can only hope for approval based on stable prices. Lower-priced gear would surely grease the skids of that grueling process.
LSI Logic Storage Systems Inc. will ship storage systems on Tuesday based on serial ATA drives to equipment-maker partners such as IBM and Storage Technology Corp. LSI did the grunt work allowing ATA drives to replace higher performance Fibre Channel drives for about a third of the cost. Since drives represent 30% to 80% of the total cost of a system, these new offerings could be perfect for customers who want more data backup taking place online.
An SATA Interface Card will let the ATA drives emulate Fibre Channel drives when needed. The 58884 SATA Storage System also comes with dual active controllers, eight Fibre Channel host ports, and as many as 224 ATA drives.
LSI's hard work can save customers a lot of time, effort, and money, says Randy Kerns, an analyst at the Evaluator Group. "LSI took existing code from the Fibre Channel drives and applied them to the new ATA drives so the controllers and ports stay the same, keeping down costs," he says. "Customers can focus on performance and cost, not what kind of drive is inside."