LSI is a leading global provider of storage and networking solutions, with a portfolio of more than 10,000 patents and a long history of leading and contributing to a wide range of industry standards and technologies in the storage and networking markets. The company develops innovative silicon, systems and software technologies.
I recently met up with Vic Mahadevan, Vice President of Product Marketing and Management, Engenio Storage Group, to find out more about LSI's foray into cloud computing.
"The whole notion of cloud computing is very exciting. People like Cisco, Intel, etc. are looking at it as a utility-based business model. The ability of flexibility and growth on demand is huge," he said.
LSI supplies its solutions to all the leading makers -- IBM, HP, Dell, etc. "Users get to use our technology under cover. The beauty of the model is -- it is good for both small and big companies," he added.
Why should someone buy a single disk? You can outsource the entire capability to a utility company. If others take it, you can scale and grow without locking your capital expenses. Everything is on demand, and that shift will happen over the next five years.
As for cloud computing itself, Mahadevan agrees that a lot of talk has going on. "The technology to make that happen is happening right now. There'll be an amazing shift over the next couple of years. Customers are also getting excited as they feel they can leverage what they have," he added.
LSI is offering a series of products -- external, mid-range and entry level storage systems. The storage arrays are part of the storage virtualization phenomena.
Mahadevan said: "We have tech that allows you to pool storage on all the servers into a virtual SAN. It is called the serverization of storage. We need to do partnerships -- wtih VMWare, Oracle, Microsoft, etc., to ensure that we can also provide the applications." LSI sells its solutions via OEM partners.
LSI recently released an 8G Fiber Channel; 446 drive bay enclosure, as well as security encrypted drives. It worked with Seagate as a user would require a key to unlock the drive.
The 8G Fiber Channel is LSI's next transition of the 4G Fiber Channel. As for the 446 drive, you can put in two TB drives and get close up to 1 PB of storage in one enclosure. The security drives gives users an added degree of security. All of these technologies are tied to the applications. Users are only concerned about the applications.
LSI works closely with a number of partners, such as Brocade, Emulex, etc. All of the chips are developed in-house, using LSI technologies. "We are leaders in 2G, 4G, 8G, etc. The 446 drive enclosure was developed in-house as well," noted Mahadevan.
Global and India plans
LSI has sufficiently grown its India facility. Mahadevan said that the company had already touched 700 people in India. "It is good to see the amount of product, chip and application talent in India," he added.
LSI is currently working on a lot of new products. The additional ones will be coming out soon. Especially, LSI will be refreshing its mid-range storage lines in Q3-09.
Mahadevan said: "From a customer point of view, I see them tracking the utility model. It will probably start in India by 2010, that's when the momentum will really start. The interesting thing is, it would be a huge opportunity for the SMB market."
Citing examples, he said that microfinance is available in rural India. If SMBs can avail of the applications for farming, garments, etc., that would make it easy for those SMBs to build new businesses.
"All of this will allow us to unleash the power of the people. Lot of applications will be further developed in India. You can also develop applications that can be probably used worldwide, based on the utility model," he said.
According to Mahadevan, LSI's see a lot of activity going on in FC and iSCSI worlds -- moving from 1G to 10G in 2010. "We are doing a lot of work in that area. 1G iSCSI is coming out in Q3 and 10G in H1-09," he added.
As for cloud computing, that will happen as well. Some enterprises have already done it, while others are in the process of implementing it. He said: "There'll always be a tipping point. We think it could be in 2011, especially in India. Otherwise, it will be in 2010. There's lot of pressure on CIOs to cut costs and make yourself more efficient."