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Broadcom RAIDCore RAID Controller Cards Now Support Linux

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Broadcom’s SATA-based RAID Controller Cards Now Available for Red Hat and Fedora Linux OS Platforms.

Broadcom announced Linux support for its family of Broadcom RAIDCore RAID controller cards. Now supporting both the Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems, the BC4000 series of RAID controllers provide a broader range of support and capabilities to enterprise users and small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), featuring the industry’s most extensive Serial ATA (SATA)-based RAID functionality for maintaining data integrity and fast data access.

There is a significant growth opportunity for SATA-based RAID controller cards in the midrange server market, especially in support of the Linux operating system. According to IDC’s “U.S. and Worldwide 2004-2008 Server Forecast” (April 2004), Linux is the fastest growing server market segment with projected 5-year growth rates of 27% for all server unit shipments and 42% for midrange server unit shipments. This accelerated growth is particularly strong in Europe where the promise of open source and low cost has helped make Linux the platform of choice for high-profile government projects in Munich, Paris and Bergen.

The Broadcom RAIDCore BC4000 series of RAID controller cards will initially support Red Hat 9, Red Hat Enterprise 3.0 and Fedora Core 1 Linux platforms. SuSE Linux support is scheduled for availability during the fourth quarter of 2004. As a result of this support, Linux users can now take advantage of enterprise-class SATA RAID features from Broadcom that include online capacity expansion, controller spanning and online RAID level migration.

The BC4000 RAID controller cards bring to market the industry’s most extensive and robust feature set for SATA-based applications through Broadcom’s XelCore(TM) RAID software (based on the proprietary Fulcrum architecture – a highly integrated storage architecture). By deploying XelCore software, the BC4000 controllers deliver support for all the popular RAID levels (0, 1, 5, 10, 50, 1n, 10n, JBOD) and robust enterprise-class features including multiple array types per drive. This feature provides Linux users with the benefits of deploying different RAID levels across the same set of drives. For example, a video editor who creates a RAID0 array and a RAID1 array across a common drive set can take advantage of the high performance RAID0 capabilities for editing the video data, as well as the data integrity capabilities of RAID1 when storing the completed videos. Since the RAID0 and RAID1 activities are all performed across the same set of drives, drive utilization is maximized.

Leading the industry in SATA RAID data access performance, the Linux-based BC4852 eight-channel controller card delivers RAID0 sequential reads and writes of 430 and 450 megabytes per second (MB/s) respectively, and RAID5 sequential reads and writes of 310 and 280 MB/s, respectively. With this outstanding performance, the BC4852 and its 4-channel counterpart, the BC4452, both continue to offer performance leadership versus competitive SATA-based RAID controller cards.

“Thanks to the fact that our SATA-based RAID controller cards set a new standard in performance and functionality, the Linux community has requested Linux drivers ever since our first products became available,” said Tom Marmen, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s Storage Line of Business. “Given the demand for Linux support, we are excited to offer our leading data integrity and data access RAID technology to those building their mission critical solutions on Linux platforms.”

“MailRoute’s e-mail protection service provides its customers superior data integrity and convenience through enterprise-class storage technology,” said Tom Johnson, CEO for MailRoute. “When you deal with as much storage as we do, it is essential to keep control of your costs while enhancing service quality. The Linux-based RAIDCore BC4852 provides the exceptional combination of high performance, data integrity and low cost that we need to maintain our leadership and reputation. In addition, the flexibility and expandability of the BC4852 are key differentiators that allow us to realize cost savings as we grow, and these savings can be passed on to our customers.”

The Broadcom RAIDCore BC4000 series is comprised of 64-bit, PCI-X low-profile compliant RAID controller cards that are the only 2U-compatible PCI-X SATA RAID controller cards available today. The product family provides both four-drive (BC4452) and eight-drive (BC4852) support and is based on Broadcom’s BCM5770 Serial ATA controller chip. The BC4000 controller cards significantly boost reliability with efficient power consumption and thermal load balancing, and feature an MTBF (mean time between failures) of 3.5 million hours, which is nearly three times greater than that of competitive SATA RAID controller cards. The BC4000 family combines enterprise-class data integrity, data access performance and reliability at SMB price points.

Pricing and Availability

The Broadcom RAIDCore BC4000 SATA-based RAID controller cards are available for purchase by end-users from online retailers including Webconnexxion, PC Mall and eCOST, and from resellers of storage solutions. Resellers can purchase RAIDCore controller cards from Ideal Hardware (in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe), ServerBits (in Australia and New Zealand), and Bell Microproducts (in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South America).

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Broadcom RAIDCore RAID Controller Cards Now Support Linux
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