Q

SATA and SCSI compatibility

Storage expert Chris Poelker discusses SATA/SCSI compatibility issues in this expert advice article.

I have been informed by Dell tech support that SCSI and parallel ATA hard disk drives are not compatible and can not be combined on the same bus. Does this also apply for SATA and SCSI? I currently have two SCSI hard disk drives and want to add a SATA card and hard disk. Will I encounter problems?
The folks at Dell are giving you the correct answer. SCSI drives use a different logical and physical interface than parallel ATA, SATA and IDE drives, and cannot be used on the same "bus".

That does not preclude you from adding a SATA controller in your server, and adding your SATA disks to that controller. You should be able to have a number of different types of controllers and disks within a single server, such as internal SCSI boot disks and either an internal or external SATA shelf.

As long as the correct controller type is used with the same drive type, you should be fine. SCSI to SCSI, SATA to SATA, parallel ATA to parallel ATA.

This was first published in January 2006

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