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Vol. 7 No. 5 July 2008

SAS bumps up speed to 6Gigs

Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) drives are getting their first technology refresh since 2005. The major change is a doubling in bandwidth from 3Gb/sec to 6Gb/sec, but other enhancements are in the works to make SAS a better fit for storage networks and to position it as the eventual successor to Fibre Channel (FC) drives in SANs. Dell, LSI and Seagate demonstrated 6Gb interoperability at a May 6 SCSI Trade Association (STA) event using Dell servers, LSI SAS RAID-on-chip and expander components, and Seagate 6Gb SAS and SATA hard drives. The STA has also scheduled a 6Gb SAS plugfest for December 6 at the University of New Hampshire, and expects 6Gb SAS drives to ship to users in late 2009. Besides going to 6Gb, the next-generation SAS drives will include: Standard zoning, which eliminates compatibility issues caused by vendors implementing unique zoning Decision Feedback Equalization (DFE) to ensure more reliable links Longer cabling; the STA's goal is to support 10 meters, up from the current maximum of eight meters to 10 meters ...

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Features in this issue

  • Solid State: New frontier for storage

    Solid-state media is starting to show up as an option for traditional storage arrays because it offers higher performance and lower power consumption. However, there are still reliability concerns related to wear out, the slower write performance of flash cells, and issues related to array management and interoperability.

  • DLT-S4 tape drives at bargain prices

  • Here comes 8Gig Fibre Channel

    New 8Gb/sec host bus adapters (HBAs) and switch devices have started arriving. But with storage arrays incorporating the new, higher speed technology still months away, end-to-end 8Gb storage infrastructures are still in the planning stages. Storage managers can get a jump on their 8Gig configurations by upgrading switches and HBAs now, or by considering networking gear that supports Fibre Channel over Ethernet.

  • Server blades and storage

    by  Ellen O'Brien

    Many IT shops are moving from traditional rack-mounted servers to blade configurations in hopes of reducing power and floor space requirements in their data centers. But combining blade architectures with server virtualization can cause problems with I/O and storage systems.

Columns in this issue