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SCSI disks but no RAID?

Posted on 2004-10-30
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Is there any point to buy SCSI disks for a server without RAID array? I mean, if we are going to buy SCSI disks is for using them in RAID-3 or RAID-5. If we are not going to use RAID, then there's no point to buy SCSI... Am I right?
Question by:Rosa2003
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Assisted Solution

tfjeff earned 280 total points
ID: 12453711
well, this depends on the server you get and the performance you want....remember, scsi drives are faster than standard IDE hard disks and also faster than SATA hard disks.  Most of the servers I work with won't even support a hard disk that isn't scsi, this may be the case with your server as well.
good luck
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 12453712
scsi disks are also supposed to be more reliable

Assisted Solution

Hammadian2 earned 120 total points
ID: 12453978
SCSI is much much faster


all servers supporting "hot swapping" works on scsi drives
hot swapping is to change the drive while the system is up
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Assisted Solution

wr3kt earned 200 total points
ID: 12454485
SCSI is by far the fastes hdd interface for right now.
If you are simply looking for just a simple storage solution with an indifference to speed, then I would suggest either sticking to the IDE on your motherboard and just getting more IDE hdd, or upgrade with a PCI SATA expansion card or a newer motherboard with SATA capabilities.

You have to remember that if you're upgrading your existing system to scsi, you're still going to be bottlenecking with your motherboard.
Most SATA expansion cards support hot-swapping as well. On top of the fact that SATA is cheaper per GB than scsi.

SCSI is definantly geared towards some sort of array setup, but it is a tried a true interface. Since you can dais-chain a large amount of drives off of one card, that makes expanding easier, but again SCSI is not cheap.

Accepted Solution

danielwpc earned 800 total points
ID: 12479667
SCSI and RAID are two different technologies. Don't mix it together. SCSI HDD has the best performance compare with SATA and IDE HDD. Therefore, if you need a fast workstation then it is still worth to buy a SCSI HDD.

RAID is a technology mainly used for data protection. Most people use RAID 1 and 5 for protecting their data. You can use RAID in SATA or IDE HDD, so it is not just for SCSI.

Hope this help....

Assisted Solution

RandyFischer earned 200 total points
ID: 12518892
SCSI disk systems should be used when the computer the disk system is installed in is being asked to do many things at close to the same time like a Server.  SCSI disk systems operate independently of the HOST system's processor.  Data Read and Write Requests come from the main system and are performed by the SCSI disk subsystem.  This leaves the HOST free to do other things.  IDE and SATA disk systems are controlled very closely by the HOST computer which must supervise many of the drive control commands.  This takes more of the HOST computer's computing attention, leaving less available for other tasks.  

Raid (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) is a technique to attempt to protect you data in the case of a hard disk hardware failure and or to get a much larger looking disk than would be possible with one physical hard drive.  There are several ways to accomplish RAID.  It can be done in software only or can be assisted by a RAID Controller which presents a single hard drive to the HOST operating system and hides the fact that there may be several independent drives involved.  The hard disk technology that the RAID uses is not really relevant when discussing what kind of disk interface is desirable in a SERVER.

Historically SCSI has been reserved for environments that are not cost sensitive.  A computer that serves many users can cost more than a computer that serves one user.  It was not to long ago that 500 mega bytes was a Large hard disk.  When you have a server that has several users 500 meg was not enough so RAID became important.  Implementing RAID on a computer with 16 500 meg hard disk drives would not be practical without having a SCSI interface to work with the drives.  Now that 250+ Gig hard drives are available the importance of managing a large number of drives has been reduced dramatically.  The speed of the processors and the general cost of things make the line between where you should use one technology over another harder to identify.

A server does seem to be the one place where one can be justified in wanting to specify a SCSI solution.  Most RAID implementations are based on SCSI and the added performance is definitely usable in a server environment.  In an entry level server where a raid controller is NOT being used, the addition of a second drive and software mirroring sometime in the future will work much better if the disk system is SCSI

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