Independent Data Storage Analyst
The Industry in Aggregate
It may have taken longer than expected, but RAID arrays equipped with SAS are now shipping. IBM is the first to get in the game with the launch of its EXP3000 array at the end of August. Soon to come are SAS-based RAID boxes from the likes of Dell, EMC, Hitachi, HP, and Sun. NetApp enters the fray, too, with filers based on SAS by year-end.
Almost universally, the new SAS-based external storage boxes feature 3.5" disk drives. The IBM EXP3000 deploys a single RAID controller and twelve SAS drives in a 2u shelf, giving it the capability to pack almost 4TB in the configuration. Though SAS drives are available in both 2.5" and 3.5", most in the industry agree that 2.5" SAS drives will primarily reside in performance-centric enterprise servers and not external arrays since the smaller size means less capacity per unit. This allows for maximum capacity as storage needs expand. Meanwhile, expect value-based servers to adopt 3.5" SAS drives in order to save cost.