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Vol. 8 Num. 9 January 2010

SAS challenges Fibre Channel drives

In their 3 Gbps incarnation, SAS drives have proved popular in low-end and nearline data storage systems, but at 6 Gbps, SAS-2 poses a serious threat to Fibre Channel interface drives. Since its introduction in 2004, serial-attached SCSI (SAS) has become the prevailing data storage interface in servers and is on a trajectory to become the same for external storage systems. Those systems are still dominated by Fibre Channel (FC) and serial ATA (SATA) disk drives, but next-generation SAS-2 components, available since early 2009, are hastening this transition. With 6 Gbps transfer rates and enhancements that neutralize some of the shortcomings of SAS 1.1, SAS-2 has overtaken FC as the most advanced and fastest disk interface. Because FC drives with their 4 Gbps transfer rate and 3.5-inch form factor have reached the end of the road, it's only a question of time as to when SAS will emerge as the drive interface of choice for high-end storage systems and servers. Thanks to its prevalence in servers today, SAS -- mostly 3 Gbps SAS -- ...

Features in this issue

  • Everything you need to know about vSphere and data storage

    With vSphere, VMware addresses many of the past storage-related shortcomings that created headaches for storage pros.

  • SAS challenges Fibre Channel drives

    In their 3 Gbps incarnation, SAS drives have proved popular in low-end and nearline data storage systems, but at 6 Gbps, SAS-2 poses a serious threat to Fibre Channel interface drives and could change the landscape of high-end storage arrays.

  • Ford's storage ledger balances capacity decisions

    Storage shops often struggle with anticipating new capacity requirements and ensuring that business needs can be met. After virtualizing its storage, Ford Motor Co. took a unique approach to allocation issues and made capacity planning as simple as balancing a checkbook.

  • Remote-office backup not getting much easier

    Our monthly survey shows that backing up remote and branch offices is still a tough nut to crack for some companies. But newer tools -- like data dedupe -- are helping to ensure that remote data is protected.

  • Quality Awards IV: HP and IBM unseat NetApp

    NetApp, winner of all three previous Quality Awards for midrange NAS systems and one for enterprise NAS products, gets nudged aside as Hewlett-Packard and IBM prevail in our latest survey.

Columns in this issue

  • Cloud storage: Just another storage tier?

    by  Terri McClure

    Storage vendors have become so enamored of the term "cloud storage" that it's hard to tell what it means anymore. But if you can get past the marketing hype, you'll find cloud storage has been adopted in some sectors as a data archive tier, and has been delivering cost-saving benefits for quite some time.

  • Storage should get more interesting in 2010

    Despite the buzz about solid state and storage for VMware environments, 2009 wasn't a particularly banner year for standout storage technologies. Here's hoping the real storage innovations will come in 2010.

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