What's the difference between SAS and SATA drives?

becker

We're speccing out a new server and have a choice between SAS drives and SATA drives. I'd like to use SATA because they're cheaper, but I've seen many of our servers are using SAS, which appear to be compatible in some way or another (one server was apparently upgraded from smaller SAS volumes to SATA volumes. 

 

Any suggestions?

Tags: SAS, SATA
Topic: Hardware
Answer this Question

Answers

4 total
stephenb
Vote Up (16)

While SATA drives might run in a SAS controller, SAS drives are usually only  used in servers. They're more expensive because they have better error correction and can come in speeds of up to 15,000 RPM, 2x-3x that of most SATA drives (4500-7200 RPM).

 

SAS drives won't work on a SATA controller because even though the pinouts are similar because of the plastic connecting the 2 groups of connectors - this is missing on SATA drives.

zeeman
Vote Up (14)

Why waste time with SAS and SATA if you could just run an SSD instead? Sure it's more expensive, but more reliable and there are no moving parts to go bad over time. Soooo much faster too.

rcook12

Are you kidding? Enterprise-grade Intel SSD's cost $600 for a 64gb drive; I can pick up a 146gb 15k SAS drive from Dell or HP for a lousy $130. Outfitting an array of non-consumer SSDs is still prohibitively expensive and I don't expect that to change for at least 3 years. Sure SSDs have no moving parts but there's enough money left over from building a 5 drive RAID5 subsystem that I could build additional servers to store offsite for a private cloud backup.
Vote Up (12)

Now there are a number of solutions that allow you to 'tier' your storage.  Meaning you can buy a cost effective mix of SAS, SATA, and SSD and a volume controller can automatically place the data you use the most on the most efficient, fastest disk choice and move the data that is least used to the less expensive slower disk. 

 

This allows you to add a handful of the really expensive SSDs and get performace/trhoughput that is 20-30% faster.

 

Coupled with a virtualized environment and a SAN volume controller device you can control multiple independant storage systems with different disks on different vendors equipment running file or block storage across SATA, SAS, or SSD.  Really impressive stuff.  

Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
Server shipments and revenue grew for the first time since 2011 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, a trend likely to continue in the second half of the year, according Gartner.
Server sales have picked up after a long slow spell and are likely to stay buoyant well into 2015 and beyond, IDC said Tuesday.
Hewlett-Packard has recalled more than 6 million laptop power cords that could pose fire and burn hazards.
Dell, VMware, and Cumulus Networks intend to accelerate the adoption of network virtualisation and open networking in the software-defined datacentre with the launch of a joint solution at VMworld 2014.
McAfee, part of Intel Security, has made improvements to its Server Security Suites portfolio with the introduction of performance optimisation and additional management efficiency to increase security for servers in physical, virtualised and Cloud environments.
U.S. data centers use more electricity than they need, a new report finds, and IT managers are too cautious about managing power and businesses are unwilling to invest in energy conservation.
It now has IBM's PC and server business, but that's not its biggest business.
Microsoft has considered making development boards for Windows Phone or Windows RT in addition to the x86 boards it already makes, but the company isn't saying if it would ever release such products.
Dell for the first time is using an Intel processor in its Wyse thin clients, which are used as alternatives to enterprise PCs.
New card fills the mid-range of performance, but its engine is open to speculation.
Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+