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Access "Mixing SAS, SATA prompts caution"

Published: 20 Oct 2012

Enterprise-class scalability and performance at desktop-like prices is the promise offered by intermixing serial-attached SCSI (SAS) and SATA. But when these drives are mixed in the same enclosure, interoperability issues can arise, forcing vendors to carefully manage their SAS/SATA implementations. One problem is that SATA and SAS have different voltage levels. SATA was designed for internal use in servers and PCs with cables of up to one meter in length; SAS supports distances of up to 10 meters, says Joel Warford, VP, marketing and business development at SiliconStor, a semiconductor company in Fremont, CA. "Since SATA is not adept at driving a signal over this longer distance, data integrity issues can result," he says. To boost SATA's voltage level, storage arrays such as Dot Hill's 2730 use SiliconStor interposers. The interposer resides between the SATA drive and the SAS backplane and, notes Warford, "boosts the signal, so it can accept a signal in a degraded form and also send out an amplified signal back to the subsystem." Further, SAS drives offer ... Access >>>

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