Serial Storage Wire

12Gb/s SAS in Full Swing

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by Chet Mercado and Rick Kutcipal

For data storage OEMs, system builders and end-users looking to take full advantage of the ultra-high performance that 12Gb/s Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) brings to servers, blades and network storage arrays, 2013 was the year they began to see products rolling out. Prominent vendors introduced a variety of solutions including RAID-on-Chips, I/O controllers, host bus adapters, SAS expanders, storage enclosures and both solid state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs).

SAS Grows In The Data Center

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More enterprises choose Serial Attached SCSI for storage in the data center due to improved reliability, cost-effectiveness, scalability, and continued enhancements.

Small computer system interface (SCSI) technology emerged in the data center with the advent of Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and rapidly became the storage interface of choice for servers and external storage products. In order to accomplish this, SAS proponents had to address three fundamental areas ...

Find out what they are and learn more in the "SAS Grows in the Data Center" article authored by STA Board member Rick Kutcipal of Avago Technologies and published in Network Computing.

Ask the SCSI Expert Series

Dan Reno, Director of Technical Marketing for HDDs at Western Digital and member of the STA Board of Directors, discusses some of the features of 12Gb/s he finds valuable, especially the Power Disable Pin, also referred to as "Pin 3" on the new 8639 connector.

12Gb/s Innovates

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Ask SCSI Experts Series

Cameron Bret, Director of SSD Marketing at Toshiba and a member of the SCSI Trade Association Board of Directors, talks about 12Gb/s SAS technology and how SAS and SCSI continue to innovate and provide value in the storage ecosystem. (Video shot during STA/T10 Meeting week in New Orleans, LA; March 2014).

The views expressed in this video are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views of TAEC or Toshiba Corporation.

With the emergence of PCIe 3.0 systems, the need for a higher performance storage interface is critical. 12Gb/s SAS storage architectures offers the best bandwidth utilization of the PCIe 3.0 host bus. The PCIe 3.0 bus increases the maximum available bandwidth to 8,000MB/s, while 6Gb/s SAS is limited to 4,800MB/s, not using almost half of the potential throughput. The chart in Figure 1 shows that a 100% gain in storage throughput can be achieved by moving to a PCIe 3.0 system and using 12Gb/s SAS as the storage connection. 12Gb/s SAS actually provides more bandwidth than PCIe 3.0, providing a path to future performance enhancements. 12Gb/s SAS not only unlocks the bandwidth capabilities of PCIe 3.0, but also opens the door for extremely high small block performance well in the excess of 1M IOP/s.

Storage Connectivity Solutions

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By: Jay Neer, Molex, SCSI Trade Association Board Member-at-Large

A number of new multi-sourced, intermateable connector products are queued up for the release of the INCITS T10 12Gb/s SAS standard. These new storage connectivity components enable end-to-end integration of the architectural and protocol enhancements for 12Gb/s SAS. Systems providers and integrators will have solutions that are twice as dense, twice as fast, more versatile, and extend farther than previous generations of SAS. Figure 1 provides a high level view of the new, end-to- end connectivity solutions involved.

The Unstoppable Datacenter

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By Daniel D. Reno, Director, Technical Marketing, Western Digital and Member-at-Large, STA Board of Director

Enterprise customers demand the highest levels of quality and reliability for the systems they deploy. To deliver these robust solutions, industry leaders rely on the most advanced technologies available as a foundation of their product solutions. Within these products, the SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) interface has become a critical component for building the 'Unstoppable Datacenter'.

SCSI Express - Advancements in PCIe Storage

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By: Bret Gibbs, Product Marketing Manager, Hewlett-Packard Company, SCSI Trade Association

SCSI Express is an emerging storage interface that runs Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) commands over a PCI Express (PCIe) link. It combines the enterprise-proven SCSI command set with the low latency of PCIe to create a powerful enterprise-class interface for the high-performance capabilities of SSD/flash storage.

Author: Jeremiah Tussey, PMC Senior Applications Engineer

Today's challenging datacenter environments demand flexible switching and connection capabilities for storage scalability. SAS storage architectures allow for extensible configurations by providing incremental connectivity solutions: passive copper cables, active copper cables, and active optical cables. The fundamental basis driving these solutions is the necessity for a variety of cabling options; depending on a SAS topology's needs for tiered interconnectivity, segregation, and failover capabilities. Figure 1 shows these different available options and how they might be used.

Tiered Storage in a Flash

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(by: Cameron Brett, former Manager, Alliances Marketing at PMC-Sierra, Inc.)

Tiered storage can have many meanings. It can mean the time-based movement of data from primary storage to an archive, as in hierarchical storage management (HSM). It can be interpreted as ensuring mission critical data is stored on the most protected storage volumes while less important data is stored on less protected storage. Today, it is commonly referred to as the caching or movement of data to flash-based storage for the fastest access of the most frequently accessed data so systems can perform at their optimal capability.