can i replace a sas drive in a raid 1 array with a sata drive

Posted on 2014-12-13
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a Dell T300 Power Edge server with 1 bad SAS drive on a degraded RAID1 array.
Can i replace the SAS drive with a SATA drive?
Question by:tcexperts77
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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

andreas earned 400 total points
ID: 40498372
Usually you cannot MIX SAS and S-ATA in the same array. But you could connect SATA and SAS drives to the same controller. and e.g. make a new RAID out of SATA drives. (but im not sure for your gieven controller, but usually you cannot mix)

So you make a new Raid 1 out of 2 new SATA-Disks and then clone the content from the degraded SAS-Raid to the new SATA Raid.
LVL 78

Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 50 total points
ID: 40498440
You will degrade the RAID considerably. SATA drives are a lot cheaper but the saving in price nets you poor performance in kind.  The RAID array will be limited to the slowest drive speed.  SAS drives are usually 15K rpm while SATA drives top out usually around 7.2K rpm. SAS drives have more connections compared to SATA drives

 You should also ensure that if you buy a SATA drive that it is designed for a RAID array and not a consumer drive.  An enterprise drive will upon hitting an error skip that block since it knows that redundancy exists elsewhere but a consumer drive will keep retrying until it either gets the block or finally errors out.  All I/O is on hold while the drive retries.
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

PowerEdgeTech earned 50 total points
ID: 40498526
The answer is NO. You cannot mix SAS and SATA in the same array. It Is not a matter of degraded performance - no Dell controllers will even allow you to add it. They can be mixed on the controller, but not in the same array.

Expert Comment

by:Carlos Ijalba
ID: 40498656
True, sometimes you cannot even mix different drive models, never mind different drive technologies.

Rule of thumb is: always replace a RAID drive with the same technology, make and model.

In case that the drive size is not made anymore, then you might change it for a bigger drive ALLWAYS checking that it's supported by the controller, it's not the first time I see a RAID not being rebuilt because nobody checked for the HD's suppor in the first placet.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 40498933
"Rule of thumb is: always replace a RAID drive with the same technology, make and model."

This may be the easiest approach, but as long as you get a disk certified by Dell (Dell co-branded), it will work. Dell drives, regardless of the make/model are loaded with firmware that guarantees it's compatibility with the controller.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40498948
A lot of good answers!
Andreas was first, answered my question, and had a very good work-around solution.

David Johnson provided important info about consumer drives, which I didn't know.
I will not plan to use consumer SATA drives for RAID in the future.

PowerEdgeTech brought more important info about Dell controllers and drives.
I prefer to work with Dell computers and this was valuable info to me.
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Author Comment

ID: 40498949
Minor (I hope) mistake in previous comment:
Andreas should have been the "Accepted" solution and the other 2 were the "Assisted" solution.
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 40501627
Just to put this straight.

If you have a SAS Controller it should support SATA devices (its in the Spec)

Can you Mirror (RAID-1) SAS and SATA disks, of course you can! Windows will Mirror them quite happily.

Can you do it on your RAID controller? Probably (see above) but there are always ifs and buts especially without having all the details.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 40501694
"If you have a SAS Controller it should support SATA devices (its in the Spec)"

Of course, but the question is not about SAS/SATA physical interoperability.

"Can you Mirror (RAID-1) SAS and SATA disks, of course you can! Windows will Mirror them quite happily."

Of course,  but the question was not likely about software RAID.

"Can you do it on your RAID controller? Probably (see above) but there are always ifs and buts especially without having all the details."

Not on any hardware RAID controller supported on a PowerEdge T300.
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 40502061
SAS/SATA interoperability, the author actually asks that question.

H/w or s/w RAID, where is the information that says what the author is using

RAID controller, where does it say the author is using a RAID controller?

Author Comment

ID: 40503596
My mistake for not clarifying - it is a hardware RAID controller.
The Dell T300 series is a mid-to-upper end server.
I don't think one would want to use a software SAS RAID controller on a T300 series.

Question for PowerEdgeTech:
How does the T110 II, with such a good CPU, perform compared to the T310 in a small (<20 PC) network, when the database is fairly small?
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 40504244
@tcexperts77 - thanks, there was quite a good chance you were using a RAID controller, but too many people not reading the questions properly and making too many assumptions

Re controller comparison, that's another question

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