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SATA VS SAS

Posted on 2011-05-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi,

I am trying to decide what kind of Hard Drives would be good for my SBS2011 server ( 2.4Ghz E5620 Xeon CPU with 24-32GB of RAM) – SAS or SATA.
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Traditionally I would get SCSI (SAS) w/o thinking too much. But recently I have installed SBS2011 on a on a DELL T110 server with 2.4Ghz X3430 Xeon Processor, 6GB of RAM, Two 1TB 7200rpm SATA HD (RAID 1) for testing and I was impressed by overall performance of the machine. Currently I have several 2003 servers that I manage for my customers all with traditional SCSI HDs (147GB-300GB 10k-15k rpm) running on 4-5 year-old Servers with Xeon CPUs and I think this new DELL server with SATA seems to provide similar or better performance.

  That said, I like to hear from people who have installed SBS 2011 on new server hardware - whether or not SATA (either 7200 or 10K rpm) is good enough to run SBS 2011 (with EXCH 2010, but no SQL Server) for about a 20 user network. I was originally considering 600GB 15K 6Gbps SAS, but I am not sure if it is necessary to spend the money on SAS (not that I don't have the money, but I just like to be smart and practical)

Thank you in advance.
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Question by:sglee
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by:
itcok earned 63 total points
ID: 35697953
The SAS drives are more reliable. So for use on a server I'd go with SAS over SATA.
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by:dlethe
dlethe earned 62 total points
ID: 35698015
Here are some more benefits that most aren't aware of, unless you are in the 'biz
1) SAS disks are dual-ported, separate paths for reads & writes, while SATA disks have one path so in perfect world with 50% read/write traffic, you have 2X bandwidth if using SAS-1, 4x if using SAS-2
2) SAS disks have more intelligence, so they can do background error recovery, reorder more instructions, have better "healing" capability, greater tolerance for vibration
3) SAS disks typically have 2-3X more I/Os per second capability (but throughput isn't that much greater then SATA)
4) SAS disks are architected for 24x7x365 @ 100% duty cycle and 5-year warranty. Just TRY to find a SATA disk with such a warranty.
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 62 total points
ID: 35698527
Not many SAS backplanes / controllers support both ports on a dual-ported disk so the benefit of dual-attached is generally moot.

 Take a look at http://www.seagate.com/docs/pdf/datasheet/disc/ds_constellation_es.pdf - not much difference whether SAS or SATA interface there - they're all enterprise near-line disks.

You're better off comparing the specs for the 15K and 10K disks (whatever the interface) with the 7.2K ones. Then there's a clear difference, the 10 and 15K ones are superior for IOPS (and often not available with SATA interface).

So it's not SAS/SATA that you have to decide on but whether you want your OS on nearline disks, your Exchange DB is ok on nearline 7.2K disks, because MS have improved Exchange 2007 and 2010 to greatly reduce the IOPS required, whether your pagefile's OK on slow seek disks is one to worry about.
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by:Nick67
Nick67 earned 63 total points
ID: 35703969
<for about a 20 user network>
I don't think you'll actually come anywhere near to stressing anything as far as I/O is concerned.

I have 4 things happen.
I run out of disk space
I have drives fail
I have RAID arrays get corrupted
I run out of budget

SCSI/SAS is expensive and relatively small.
There are Enterprise RAID SATA drives
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=50
They are much bigger and almost as reliable as SAS
They are considerably cheaper
There is RAID 1

My problems, solved
YMMV
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 35706711
Thank you all for your advise and it has been educational.

I think I will stick to SAS for now for speed and reliability per advise from itcok, dlethe, & andyalder.
I may also go with Two SAS 600GB RAID 1 for crutial data (Exchange, Databases ... etc) and get 2 Large Enterprise SATA HDs such as WD1002FBYS (like Nick67 suggested) for another RAID 1 to store non-essential data such as photos, videos, scanned images ... etc.
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