Access "Steeling SATA for Duty"
This article is part of the Vol. 3 No. 6 August 2004 issue of Adding low-cost tiers to conserve storage costs
As a general rule, Serial ATA (SATA) disk drives don't have the same reliability ratings as SCSI or Fibre Channel drives. Whereas an enterprise-class SCSI drive has a mean time between failure (MTBF) of 1,200,000 hours, many SATA drives only run to 600,000 MTBF. Some vendors, wary of selling unreliable hardware to customers who expect otherwise, have taken steps to eke better reliability out of low-cost drives. For example, earlier this summer Hitachi Data Systems Inc. (HDS) introduced a SATA Intermix option for its Thunder 9500 V family, that allows customers to complement an existing Fibre Channel infrastructure with shelves of SATA drives. Here is a partial list of the features it has implemented to help ward off problems: Additional error correction and redundancy checks, in the form of an additional read-after-write mechanism, and a second eight-byte longitudinal redundancy check. "Idle sweeps" every 10 minutes, where the system checks the drive for any wear patterns and cleans off any debris. If the drive is idle for more than two hours, the head is ... Access >>>
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