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Vol. 3 No. 6 August 2004

Steeling SATA for Duty

As a general rule, Serial ATA (SATA) disk drives don't have the same reliability ratings as SCSI or Fibre Channel drives. Whereas an enterprise-class SCSI drive has a mean time between failure (MTBF) of 1,200,000 hours, many SATA drives only run to 600,000 MTBF. Some vendors, wary of selling unreliable hardware to customers who expect otherwise, have taken steps to eke better reliability out of low-cost drives. For example, earlier this summer Hitachi Data Systems Inc. (HDS) introduced a SATA Intermix option for its Thunder 9500 V family, that allows customers to complement an existing Fibre Channel infrastructure with shelves of SATA drives. Here is a partial list of the features it has implemented to help ward off problems: Additional error correction and redundancy checks, in the form of an additional read-after-write mechanism, and a second eight-byte longitudinal redundancy check. "Idle sweeps" every 10 minutes, where the system checks the drive for any wear patterns and cleans off any debris. If the drive is idle for more ...

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Features in this issue

  • SAN switch smarts

    Switches can now handle storage management, performance management and security. Here's a comprehensive look at the pros and cons of intelligent switches.

  • Big Mac attack for storage

    by  Alex Barrett

    Got storage-hungry Mac desktops to feed? Apple Computer Inc.'s Xserve RAID, its 3.5TB RAID array and the Xserve platform running Mac OS X have performed a minor miracle: Together, they seem to have made Mac a legitimate server and storage platform.

  • First look: iStora 4000 from Breece Hill

    by  Lawrence Disbury

    The iStora 4000 offers idiot-proof disk-to-disk-to-tape backup that smaller customers can afford.

Columns in this issue