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Snapshot: Using IDE drives

Used to be, the only drives you'd find in an open systems data center were SCSI, or sometimes Fibre Channel. But a number of vendors are coming to market with arrays based on generic IDE/ATA drives.

Will you let IDE drive your data center?
"There is no advantage to IDE/ATA drives other than cost, which will quickly be lost in managing and performance degradation."
For what sorts of applications?
"It should be possible for IDE technology to be extended to perform and function like SCSI. It just needs a nudge in the right direction."

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Why wouldn't you use an IDE drive?
The hard-and-fast rule of "no IDE in the data center" is melting faster than an ice cream cone on a summer day. That's especially true when it comes to e-mail, file serving and backup/archive applications. Surprisingly, 25% of survey takers even said they would use IDE drives in high-performance database applications like ERP. Of course, putting an IDE drive in the data center comes with a few provisos, namely, the IDE drives must be configured with RAID, "so that the limited connectivity characteristics of the drives don't pose an issue," explained one user. And while their numbers are dwindling, SCSI devotees still exist. As one respondent put it: "IDE wouldn't be admissible, even if it were free."

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