Review: LSI Nytro Megaraid NMR-8110-4i
Welcome to Myce’s review of the LSI Nytro Megaraid
NMR-8110-4i application acceleration solution.
LSI has recently been acquired by Avago Technologies and a
number of LSI’s flash based assets have then been sold onto Seagate. We
understand that for the foreseeable future historical products will remain
under the ‘LSI, an Avago Technologies Company’ brand, viz –
The LSI Nytro Megaraid 8110-4i (hereafter referred to as the
‘NMR-8110-4i’) is an HBA (Host Bus Adaptor) with its own integrated enterprise
grade (eMLC) NAND flash based cache. The cache can be used to accelerate the
access to data placed on HDDs that are attached to the HBA. The cache consists
of two 100GB SSDs (with Sandforce controllers). The two SSDs can be configured
to run as a Raid array reducing the latency (IO response time) of the Cache.
In recent months we have reviewed a number of SSHD (Solid State Hybrid Disks)
that marry the reduced cost per gigabyte associated with traditional HDDs, with
a NAND based cache to give the user an SSD like experience – the NMR-8110-4i
can be considered to be an ultimate Enterprise caching solution that can be
used in conjunction with up to 128 underlying devices (which may themselves be
arranged in Raid arrays).
Market Positioning and Specification
This is how LSI positions their Nytro Megaraid solution –
LSI offers game changing technology with an advanced
architecture for servers that are shifting away from using discrete components
from multiple vendors to tightly optimized and integrated intelligent
LSI already provides industry leading general purpose
smart controllers to solve a wide variety of performance, data protection and
connectivity problems. Now, LSI is integrating these controllers with emerging
technologies, like Solid State Devices (SSD) and intelligent caching, in a way
that solves the problems of ease of use, compatibility, interoperability and density.
The need for SSD integration within the enterprise is
well documented. SSDs close the storage IO performance gap between traditional
disk based storage, CPU and system memory.
The LSI Nytro MegaRAID family of products is an
all-in-one solution that provides industry hardened RAID and enterprise flash
technology integrated on a single Half Height, Half length PCIe® 3.0
interface intelligent controller.
The Nytro MegaRAID card is the first combo PCIe
RAID+Flash product in the market that is designed to carefully integrate
and optimize all SAS/SATA storage into a single low latency, high
performance, caching and data protected solution. The integration of
enterprise NAND flash modules onto a Nytro MegaRAID card to seamlessly serve
data from the appropriate media (HDD storage and/or SSD) is an unparalleled
product in the market.
- Integrated solution offering on-board flash capacity,
dynamic caching software, and RAID data protection
- Flexibility to configure integrated flash capacity for
caching or data volumes, eliminating dedicated boot HDDs and increasing
- Enterprise-grade flash storage optimized for
performance, reliability, and endurance
- New Elastic Cache algorithm both increases cache
utilization and performance
- Persistent read cache metadata during power cycle
- Sustains high performance during a HDD failure;
accelerates degraded array rebuild time
- Improved caching algorithm allows more hot spots to be
retained in flash
- 8 GB/second data transfers using a x8 PCI Express® 3.0 host
- Broad portfolio with variety of flash capacity points
and internal or external SAS connectors.
Here is LSI’s specification for the NMR-8110-4i –
The Nytro Megaraid Card is available with Flash memory
(Usable Capacity) sizes of 100GB, 200GB, and 800GB.
Here is a picture of the Nytro Megaraid NMR-8110-4i we
The NMR-8110-4i has two 100GB SSDs each powered by a
Sandforce SF-2582 controller. The NMR-8110-4i also has 1GB of 1333MHz DDR3
Now let’s head to the next page, to look at the Testing
Approach adopted in this review…..