SATA drives: Four worst practices

SATA drives have a few gotchas. Read about the four common SATA drive mistakes to avoid in your storage environment.

SATA, and what you will learn: SATA drives have a few gotchas. Read about the four common SATA drive mistakes to avoid in your storage environment.

Currently, we're moving into the "magic bullet" phase of SATA adoption. Storage administrators have widely recognized their advantages and they are snapping them up. But, like any other storage technology, SATA drives have weaknesses as well as strengths.

Related information

20 tips in 20 minutes: Considering SATA?

Hot Technologies for 2006

Can you run multiple drives off a SATA port?

Here are some worst practices that minimize the advantages of SATA drives while maximizing the disadvantages.

  • 'Solving' your storage problems with SATA
  • Because SATA drives are cheap and fast, your storage budget can cover more of them. But the worst thing you can do with SATA drives is to use them as an excuse to continue business-as-usual uncontrolled storage growth.

    Process change is almost always harder than switching to a new technology. But you cannot solve a business process problem -- like runaway storage growth -- with a new technology. It may be easier in the short run than enduring the pain of installing a comprehensive, effective storage management strategy, but in the long run it only makes the underlying problem worse.

  • Using SATA drives any old place

    SATA is not SCSI, nor ATA for that matter. All of them have distinct characteristics that you should consider when selecting drives. You need to think about the application and match the drive technology to it. Otherwise, you're likely to do the equivalent of trying to use ATA drives in applications where you should be using SCSI.

    The good news is that this isn't as limiting as using, say, ATA drives inappropriately. Because SATA and SAS can use the same backplane connector, it's easy to replace a SATA drive with a faster SAS drive. In addition, SAS will support more than 16,000 drives on a single backplane connection.

  • Substituting one big SATA drive for several smaller drives

    You can get a 250 GB SATA II drive for less than $100. If you're upgrading, it's awfully tempting to replace several 60 GB SCSI drives with one SATA drive to save money.

    While you'll save money this way, you may take an unacceptable performance hit. Generally speaking, more spindles mean better performance. Thus, from a performance standpoint, you're almost always better off with data spread across several smaller drives rather than concentrated on one big one.

    One of the reasons SATA drives come in higher capacities than SAS or SCSI drives is that they have slower rotation speeds. As a result, your data transfer rates can suffer significantly.

    And the big one:

  • Not having a comprehensive storage strategy

    Enough said.

    Do you know …

    What you should know about SATA II?

    Think 'big picture' for SATA Exchange storage?


  • This was first published in May 2006

    Dig deeper on Disk drives

    Pro+

    Features

    Enjoy the benefits of Pro+ membership, learn more and join.

    0 comments

    Oldest 

    Forgot Password?

    No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

    Your password has been sent to:

    -ADS BY GOOGLE

    SearchSolidStateStorage

    SearchVirtualStorage

    SearchCloudStorage

    SearchDisasterRecovery

    SearchDataBackup

    Close