We received quite a bit of interest in the AIC active-active NVMe system from our Computex 2016 coverage and wanted to also share a few details on the Intel Xeon D based high-availability storage system we saw. The motherboards we saw were part of the AIC HA201-AP storage system. What makes this storage system unique is that it is an implementation of a high-availability SAS storage platform based on the Intel Xeon D SoCs. We have seen implementations of other vendors’ solutions specifically designed for scale-out or replication architectures using SATA or SAS drives, but not for HA controller pairs in the same node.
AIC HA201-AP Overview
One can see the AIC HA201-AP front has both 3.5″ and 2.5″ drives, eight of each for sixteen total drives.
The rear of the unit shows off redundant 600W power supplies as well as the two Xeon D controller nodes side-by-side. As one can see, each node has dual 10GbE (SFP+) and dual 1GbE networking, a management port, local access ports and two external SAS HD connectors to connect additional storage shelves.
The large heatsink covered the SAS 3008 chip and a SAS expander. That is how AIC is passing SAS ports to the motherboard ports, the backplane ports and the rear I/O ports for external connectivity. From the picture and the block diagram we see four Intel i210 Ethernet controllers, two for the rear I/O and two for the backplane.
We did not get the exact Intel Xeon D SKU but we can see that the ES processor on the node pictured above has a 1.9GHz rating and the block diagram mentions a 45W TDP SKU. The block diagram we received was slightly difficult to read. From what we can tell it is also one of the most complex Intel Xeon D based platform block diagrams we have seen. There are both Ethernet and NTB links on the backplane for the HA signaling.
We are going to request a review sample although we have not reviewed AIC products in the past. We are seeing a number of vendors select the Intel Xeon D platform to build network and storage appliances.
AIC HA201-AP Key Specs
- 2U 16-bay with dual Intel Xeon D controller nodes
- Broadcom/ Avago/ LSI SAS 3008 and 12Gbps SAS expander onboard
- Fully redundant, fault-tolerant system supporting hot-swappable compute nodes and storage drives
- GbE and NTB link between nodes for failover
- Dual port 10GbE in SFP+
- SFF8644 for JBOD connection