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SATA vs SAS – What you need to know.

SATA vs SAS – What you need to know

By now, you've heard a thing or two about SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) and SAS (Serial Attached SCSI), but do you really know how these differ and why one option is better than another when it comes to specific applications?

SATA vs SAS
Chances are, you've heard the debate as to which is a better fit for enterprise storage: SATA storage or SAS storage. When comparing the features (performance, capacity and cost) of each storage solution, it's tough to argue which is the best fit. But when you break down how each storage device will be used, it's easy to identify what will make the most sense for your environment.

Designed specifically for desktops and workstations, SATA drives are a low cost, high capacity solution for single users. SATA configurations perform well in file server and streaming media scenarios while SCSI configurations are the preferred option of database applications.

On the other hand, SAS drives are geared for servers and 24/7 use in datacenters or server rooms. Sacrificing storage capacity for speed and performance, these backward compatible drives feature RPMs of up to 15K compared to 7200 of SATA. SAS drives follow the SCSI command set and feature many of the same characteristics that are found in SCSI drives, including reliability and performance.

The knock on SAS is that as capacity increases, so does the cost, making it an expensive solution high capacity environments.

Working together
Based on what we talked about above, it is clear that each type of drive has its advantages and disadvantages. Is it possible that both drives can coexist in a single infrastructure?


Businesses can save money with a SAS infrastructure that's populated with low cost, high capacity SATA drives. As the business expands and capacity increases, more SATA drives can be added. With far greater scalability than a SATA infrastructure, a SAS infrastructure can connect more than 16,000 SAS and/or SATA drives in one domain.

Not only does a SAS infrastructure (with SATA hard drives) enable IT professionals to select the most cost-effective storage solution for any task, but it also improves SATA's scalability. Simply put, combining a SAS infrastructure with SATA drives eliminates the redundancies and inefficiencies of purchasing and maintaining separate infrastructures for high performance high capacity storage applications.

Wrap up
Knowing the key differences between SATA and SAS is an important factor in designing a cost-effective storage environment.


Steve Grady is the VP Customer Solutions
Email him at steve.grady@equuscs.com for new business Opportunities
Follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter @EquusCS.

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