Q&A with CloudPOST’s Contributing Editor, Kathy Xu

Microsemi’s Director of Product Management and Strategy, Mark OrthodoxouMark Orthodoxou, Director of Product Management and Strategy, Scalable Storage Business Unit of Microsemi Corporation, spoke with CloudPOST about Microsemi’s attendance at HostingCon Global 2017, which took place April 3-6 in Los Angeles. Mr. Orthodoxou also discussed the launch of Microsemi’s new Smart Storage Platform.

CloudPOST, Kathy Xu (CP-KX) Question: Tell our readers about your company. What do you do and what problems are you attempting to solve?  

Microsemi, Mark Orthodoxou (Microsemi-MO) Answer: Microsemi is a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance. We deliver high-value solutions for a number of high-barrier-to-entry markets, namely aerospace and defense, as well as industrial, communications and data center.

In the data center storage segment, Microsemi is a leader in both storage infrastructure solutions and storage media controllers. Storage infrastructure provides connectivity between the server CPU and storage devices, including HDDs, SSDs, and NVDRAM. These infrastructure solutions also provide manageability of those devices and may or may not deliver a number of high-value enterprise services (such as caching or RAID). Media controllers from Microsemi include both NVMe SSD controllers and NVDRAM controllers. We divide our storage solutions for the data center into four product families: SAS/SATA storage I/O controller solutions (our Adaptec® family), SAS expander solutions (our SXP family), PCIe storage switches (our Switchtec® family), and NVMe controllers (our Flashtec® family).

CP-KX Q: What has your company achieved that makes it unique in the industry? 

Microsemi-MO A: Microsemi has a long heritage of industry leadership and industry firsts in data center storage, and we are continuing to build on that leadership position with the announcement of our new Smart Storage Platform, which includes the SmartROC 3100 and SmartIOC 2100 12 Gbps SAS/SATA storage I/O controllers.

Microsemi was the first to introduce controller-based encryption for data-at-rest on the drives. This technology encrypts data as the data is written to the drive with virtually no performance impact while delivering considerable flexibility and security advantages over using only self-encrypting drives (SEDs). We have really focused on optimizing around the most mainstream use cases for server storage with this latest product family, and this has allowed us to deliver industry-leading power while also achieving industry-leading performance for the most important storage configurations. Since our last generation of 6 Gbps SAS/SATA I/O controllers, we have led the industry in port density — this continues with the launch of our new Smart Storage Platform. Increased controller port density allows for lower overall solution power, improved performance, and lower bill of materials costs for the data center.

Beyond SAS/SATA storage I/O controllers, Microsemi is the market leader in SAS expanders, the pioneer of the PCIe storage switch for reliable and performant NVMe connectivity, and boasts the world’s highest performance general market NVMe controller.

CP-KX Q: How do you see the cloud industry evolving?

Microsemi-MO A: The cloud is a very broad category and there are many areas of innovation and continual improvement as the cloud industry evolves. Some of the most important challenges include improving CPU efficiency, reducing operating expense, improving reliability, and improving security. This is why Microsemi is so focused on performance, power, reliability, and security innovation in all of our storage products. Going forward, we see the growing importance of rack level disaggregation, memory composability, and accelerators — mostly in an attempt to further improve CPU efficiency and to reduce operating expense.

CP-KX Q:  Where are you looking to strategically move your business within the next few years? 

Microsemi-MO A: Microsemi’s heritage is semiconductors, but is increasingly a full solutions provider for the data center. Over the next few years, Microsemi will continue to innovate with new interface adoption and build silicon architectures that deliver performance and power profiles that are industry-leading. We will also continue to invest in high-value software services for storage, management tool integration into popular cloud software stacks, rack-level solution offerings, and workload optimizations for the data center. Our mission is to be the preferred partner to connect, manage, and protect data for worldwide enterprise and data center storage infrastructure, and the combination of our currently available products and our roadmap will ensure that we are successful in that mission.

CP-KX Q:  What did you accomplish at HostingCon?

Microsemi-MO A: HostingCon was an opportunity for us to connect with our customers and the customers of our customers. It was an opportunity for us to not only spread the word about our most recent product offerings, but to also better understand how we can continue to improve and meet the needs of those customers. We are excited to launch our new Smart Storage Platform, including the SmartROC 3100 and SmartIOC 2100, and we expect to gain additional insights into how our next products can deliver differentiated solutions that best serve the needs of the ever-evolving cloud.

CP-KX: Thank you for your time. If you are interested in learning more about Microsemi Corporation, a leading manufacturer of discrete semiconductors and power management integrated circuits, visit https://www.microsemi.com/.