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Oct 04 2017

Fujitsu RAID Controllers PRAID EP440i TFM/EP440i TFM SafeStore Set New Speed and Data Security Standards

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The FUJITSU PRAID EP440i TFM and EP440i TFM SafeStore RAID controllers set new speed and data security standards for the operation of RAIDs. They combine FUJITSU's advanced technology and experience in order to ensure that business users will benefit from all the advantages of redundant disk arrays.

The acronym RAID means "Redundant Array of Independent Disks". The term denotes one of the earliest storage virtualization technologies that combines several independent physical hard disks in such a way that they form a large logical drive. The operating system no longer accesses individual hard disks, but the array as a whole.

There are varying motivations for using a RAID: If data is stored across several hard disks with additional redundancy information, this method increases operational safety and reliability. Even if one of the hard disks fails, the data that were stored on it can be reconstructed from the additional redundant data on the other disks. Another benefit from using a RAID is a considerable acceleration of the read and write speeds when reading or writing large amounts of data: As the data is distributed across multiple disks, their individual maximum transfer speeds are added up and thus increase. There are different RAID methods available that can combine the benefits of increased reliability and performance gains.

However, the theoretical security and performance increases in a given RAID are only as good as the RAID controller that is used for accessing and managing the attached hard disks. The FUJITSU PRAID EP440i TFM and EP440i TFM SafeStore RAID controllers combine FUJITSU's advanced technology and experience in order to ensure that business users benefit from all the advantages of the RAID concept and enjoy the unlimited amount of security and reliability in the event of an emergency.

MegaRAID® SafeStore Software Offers Optional Data Encryption
The difference between the two RAID controller models FUJITSU PRAID EP440i TFM and EP440i TFM SafeStore is that the latter version additionally supports data encryption. To obtain a higher security level, it supports the MegaRAID® SafeStore software developed by Broadcom which helps managing self-encrypting drives attached to the RAID controller. An authentication key is required to unlock a drive so that its contents remain safely beyond the reach of hackers or thieves. The MegaRAID® SafeStore software creates and locally manages these authentication keys. Additionally, it offers an Instant Secure Erase feature that "wipes out" the authentication keys before a drive is retired or repurposed and thus effectively blocks access to all existing drive contents. This is a far quicker and more effective way to prepare a hard disk for disposal or repurposing than many conventional methods.

Improved Performance and Optional Protection Against Power Outages
Both FUJITSU PRAID EP440i TFM RAID controller models, with or without support for MegaRAID® SafeStore, offer improved performance in comparison to earlier models such as the FUJITSU PRAID EP400i or EP420i. These performance gains were achieved by increasing the size of the DDR3 cache memory to 4 GB as compared to 1 or 2 GB in the earlier models. They make the PRAID EP440i TFM and EP440i TFM SafeStore a perfect choice for storage-intensive workloads such as databases as well as for certain workload profiles like random access to large amounts of data.

An optional flash battery backup unit (FBU) can be combined with the Transportable Flash Module (TFM) that is bundled with the PRAID EP440i TFM and EP440i TFM SafeStore by default. This ensures the integrity of the data stored in the RAID controller's cache in case of a power outage. In this event, the data is copied to non-volatile flash memory. The FBU provides a low-priced alternative to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and, in comparison to battery backup units, enables long-term, secure storage of data as well as better serviceability. The TFM module is bundled with the controller, the FBU is optional.

Wide Choice of Hard Disk Interfaces and RAID Levels, Convenient Controller Management
The FUJITSU PRAID EP440i TFM and EP440i TFM SafeStore are PCIe 3.0 expansion cards with a PCI x8 bus bandwidth. They offer eight internal SAS 3.0 ports with data transfer rates of up to 12 Gb/s each and support up to 32 HDDs or SSDs. Both RAID controllers are designed for backward compatibility with 3 Gb/s SAS as well as with 6 Gb/s and 3 Gb/s SATA hard drives. They come with a set of standards cables ex-factory, additional specific cable sets such as special SAS 3.0 cables are available as accessory parts.

The FUJITSU PRAID EP440i TFM and EP440i TFM SafeStore support all relevant RAID levels such as RAID 0, 1, 5 and 6 as well as the RAID spans 10, 50 and 60 for more data security. Their RAID stack is based on the LSI MegaRAID® and offers high data throughput, a comprehensive fault tolerance function and user-friendly management options. Moreover, the controller management is integrated seamlessly into Fujitsu's ServerView Management Suite via ServerView RAID Manager.

All in all, the FUJITSU PRAID EP440i TFM and EP440i TFM SafeStore combine FUJITSU's advanced technology and experience in order to ensure that business users will benefit from all the advantages of redundant disk arrays. At the same time, they set new speed and data security standards for the operation of RAIDs.

Aswin Shankar

 

About the Author:

Aswin Shankar

Global Product Marketing – Server Products

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