SAS drives showing up more and more


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Our monthly survey shows that more than 50% of respondents use SAS drives. With 6 Gbps SAS now available, SAS is poised to make an impact on various storage implementations.

The latest 6 Gbps serial-attached SCSI (SAS) disk drives are beginning to show up in data centers, but their 3 Gbps predecessors have already made significant inroads in enterprise data storage shops (see "

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SAS challenges Fibre Channel drives," Storage magazine, January 2010). Slightly more than 50% of respondents to our latest survey currently use SAS drives. Right now, SAS drives are most used for direct-attached server storage (63%), but more than half of our SAS users have the drives installed in arrays. When we last asked about SAS drives a year and a half ago, approximately 26% of those respondents said that SAS drives accounted for 40% or more of their installed disk capacity; this time, 40% of respondents said that SAS accounted for that much capacity. The two biggest obstacles to SAS growth seem to be coming from above and below: of those who aren't currently using SAS disks, 32% said they need the performance provided by Fibre Channel (FC) while 38% said SATA suits them just fine. The higher capacity drives for both FC and SATA that have recently become available are likely factors that have helped these two legacy protocols hold off the upstart SAS just a little bit longer.

"SAS is the future -- FC drives will disappear within the next 18 months."
Survey respondent

BIO: Rich Castagna (rcastagna@storagemagazine.com) is editorial director of the Storage Media Group.

This was first published in February 2010

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