by Mark Kidd

Storage Connectivity Solutions [STA 2012]

At this week’s SCSI Trade Association (STA) Technology Showcase, Molex, Amphenol, FCI and TE were eager to demonstrate a broad spectrum of new intermateable 12Gb/s box-to-box and inside-the-box SAS interconnects. Product demonstrations put the spotlight on MultiLink SAS, a new 12Gb/s SAS quad-port connector, and double-density Mini-SAS HD interconnectors with 8x interfaces. These configurations deliver the highest port density now available for switches and low-profile PCIe cards.

These latest enterprise storage solutions feature SAS connectivity end-to-end throughout the data center. Box-to-box interconnects benefit from the highest density switches in the industry that also maximize the performance of PCIe add-in faceplates. Device-to-midplane solutions on display enabled interconnectivity between dual-port SAS devices, quad-port and MultiLink SAS devices, HDDs and SSDs, and legacy SAS devices. The STA show also saw new SAS-intermateable midplane-to-controller-to-enclosure I/O solutions.

As SAS achieves longer interconnects with passive copper, active copper, and optical connections (seen in SAS Goes the Distance) it is becoming easier to design flexible SAS-connected storage infrastructures that combine 4x and 8x I/Os with legacy SAS implementations to better manage growth.

STA demonstrators highlighted the diverse ecosystem of SAS interconnects which has emerged as the technology improves and is adopted throughout the enterprise. With analysts pointing towards continued growth for SAS solutions, IT administrators and CTOs are keeping a close watch on the specifications of these new interconnect solutions.

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