Backup school: Quiz two, answer six

Here is the answer to Backup school quiz two, question six.


Question #6

ATA and newer SATA drives are not built to last as long as:

a. RAID arrays
b. SCSI drives
c. 10 GB drives
d. None of the above

Were you correct?

The correct answer is:

b.SCSI. Dorian says the SCSI drives built years ago last longer than newer ATA drives.

Learn more:

Serial ATA (the Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or SATA) is a relatively new standard for connecting hard drives to computer systems. As its name implies, SATA is based on serial signaling technology, unlike current IDE hard drives that use parallel signaling.

There's pretty much no difference in interfaces or bandwidth between any of the SCSI or ATA scenarios as both use DMA to transfer data to and from the CPU. Serial ATA is reaching the speeds of Ultra SCSI, and every format except the older parallel ATA are hot pluggable, with both serial ATA and SCSI supporting both internal and external formats.

Most of us are working with SCSI, or at least SCSI commands. Most servers may use a SCSI bus, which runs SCSI commands from the operating system to the disk. Those working with Fibre Channel are mostly using FCP (SCSI over Fibre Channel). Many others still are discussing iSCSI (SCSI over IP).

The SCSI command set is not the be-all, end-all of storage. In the mainframe world, we have ESCON and FICON (sort of ESCON over FC). Many companies still run mainframes as a critical part of their business. There is also a lot of IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) around -- including servers, RAID controllers and even external disk subsystems.

Related articles:

  • Where the SATA vs SCSI race stands
  • Comparing ATA and SCSI drives
  • SATA drives take aim at SCSI

    Back to the quiz.

  • This was first published in April 2004

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