SAS Solutions to Fit Any Customer Need

Author: Heidi Smith, Product Marketing

SAS Infrastructure is the next generation of storage
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and Serial ATA (SATA) solutions are the next generation in storage technology, offering better performance, flexibility and scalability. Vendors are now offering a complete line of SAS capable products including small form factor (SFF) and 3.5″ hard drives, a variety of controllers and HBAs, servers and storage enclosures, with more to come.

Why serial now?
Parallel SCSI and parallel ATA have reached their technological limits. Parallel connectors are too big for new dense server and storage products and the cabling is limiting airflow. In addition, cross talk over the cables is making system design more complicated resulting in increased backplane and cabling costs. Electrical challenges are being encountered while attempting to increase parallel I/O speeds to accommodate HDD data rate increases. Serial Attached SCSI greatly helps to reduce these issues while providing customers unprecedented flexibility and scalability.

Helping you choose SAS or SATA
SAS drives are the enterprise drive of choice. Typical applications include: workload intensive environments such as database, e-mail, file and print. With the new SAS technology, customers can store and manage information better than ever before. The latest evolution of SCSI, SAS drives, can be used for mission-critical or performance-oriented applications. SAS drives are supported by a three-year limited warranty. Three Gb/s SAS drives provide the best-price-for-performance solution for server and storage boxes. These drives are ideal for critical, high-duty cycle applications.

SATA drives are the entry level, light-duty-cycle drive of choice. Typical applications include: front-end server environments such as log file and OS, and nearline storage opportunities. SATA drives are also used for disk backup, mirroring or non-mission-critical reference data. SATA drives will support a one-year limited warranty. Both SAS and SATA drives can co-exist together on the same backplane within a server, or in a drive enclosure, offering you the performance, reliability and flexibility to meet your most stringent data center needs. One and one half Gb/s SATA drives provide the lowest cost per gigabyte storage solution for server and storage boxes. These drives are ideal for less critical, low-duty-cycle applications.

By choosing a storage solution with a SAS infrastructure customers can deploy either SAS or SATA drives as their business needs change.

Scale out, not up
Many businesses are adopting data-rich solutions based on servers with larger direct-attached capacity, redefining the traditional balance of computing to storage. Environments are growing larger, requiring simple management, density and power efficiency to accommodate space and power constraints. There’s a clear need for high-performance, high-capacity storage solutions that are also low cost and quick to scale.

Scale-out architecture at work
There are a number of new efficiencies a customer can enjoy by deploying a scale-out model in their IT infrastructure. With the storage attached to the server, they can quickly search for, and retrieve, stored documents. They can also provide high capacity online storage to subscribers, and enable high availability without the need for networked storage by using Continuous Cluster Replication. They can even run multiple databases across networked storage with availability and performance managed by the application using mirroring.

High capacity servers deliver fundamental scale-out building blocks
High capacity storage servers pack the performance, memory, storage and I/O into only a few U of rack space, making it ideal for space-constrained environments, while industry-leading management tools provide control, flexibility and tangible savings.

Server models are now utilizing up to twelve large form factor hot-plug drive bays to provide up to 10.5 TB of storage, the core component of the scale-out architecture. Keeping the most crucial data in server-attached storage means that the customer can free up hard disk space without losing the ability to quickly lay hands on what they need, when they need it. Servers will soon have an optional upgrade to attach two additional large-form-factor drives out of the back of the box.

Many servers entering the market support the new Serial Attached SCSI infrastructure and ship with the latest SAS controllers with integrated 512 MB read cache, providing complete data protection. When there is a need to move data into networked storage, the solution connects easily, while advanced memory protection technologies avoid memory errors.

For information about Serial Attached SCSI and SAS solutions, go to

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