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Vol. 5 No. 10 December 2006

Mixing SAS, SATA prompts caution

Enterprise-class scalability and performance at desktop-like prices is the promise offered by intermixing serial-attached SCSI (SAS) and SATA. But when these drives are mixed in the same enclosure, interoperability issues can arise, forcing vendors to carefully manage their SAS/SATA implementations. One problem is that SATA and SAS have different voltage levels. SATA was designed for internal use in servers and PCs with cables of up to one meter in length; SAS supports distances of up to 10 meters, says Joel Warford, VP, marketing and business development at SiliconStor, a semiconductor company in Fremont, CA. "Since SATA is not adept at driving a signal over this longer distance, data integrity issues can result," he says. To boost SATA's voltage level, storage arrays such as Dot Hill's 2730 use SiliconStor interposers. The interposer resides between the SATA drive and the SAS backplane and, notes Warford, "boosts the signal, so it can accept a signal in a degraded form and also send out an amplified signal back to the ...

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Features in this issue

  • Hot technologies for 2007

    "Storage" magazine's editors reviewed technology developments, product introductions and storage standards to come up with this short list of must-have technologies for 2007. We believe iSCSI SANs, hardware-based tape encryption, high-capacity disk drives, virtualization and thin provisioning will have the greatest impact on enterprise storage environments.

  • SAN consolidation strategies

    As islands of SANs proliferate in companies, the cost of storage can soar. Sound SAN design strategies allow companies to reduce the number of SAN islands, strengthen a primary SAN, make storage easier to manage and provide more data protection.

  • Quality awards II: EqualLogic named top midrange array

    by  Rich Castagna

    Another Quality Awards dark-horse candidate, EqualLogic PS Series, joins backup winner BakBone in unseating established players for top honors.

Columns in this issue

  • Is it really a disaster?

    Was it really a disaster after all? It's important to distinguish operational recovery from disaster recovery because the tools and techniques used in each situation can differ significantly.