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There has been much debate lately as to the effectiveness and reliability of consumer-level storage technology in the enterprise space.  This article on Dell's future or storage website, details some of the specific considerations and decisions IT managers may have to make...

"The fact of the matter is if you’re working with an enterprise application and cost isn’t the only driving factor but uptime and rebuild times are critical, there’s a really strong case for SAS technology, though SATA is a tempting low-cost alternative to be sure.  In practice though, SATA drives don’t have the same level of status handling and error reporting that SAS drives do.  SAS drives utilize SCSI commands, while SATA drives rely on ATA Smart Monitoring reports.

The SCSI command set for error reporting and handling is significantly more robust.  If a drive starts going bad in a RAID volume with SATA, the controller may or may not alert you before the drive goes completely offline.  SAS on the other hand will give you a much more detailed view into what’s going on with a RAID volume, potentially allowing you to get that hot spare in for a rebuild sooner.

For the average consumer, SATA has it all over SAS with its cost per gigabyte ratio that absolutely blows SAS drives out of the water."

What do you all think?  Is SATA ready for the enterprise space, or should IT managers stick with products specifically designed for the enterprise?  We're interested in hearing what you all have to say on the matter.

The Data Center, HotHardware's new community for IT professionals, is sponsored by Dell's Future of Storage. This article is part of our ongoing series of topics and discussions related to IT, Enterprise Storage and related storage technologies.

personally i've wanted SAS since i heard of it, but prices are my main selling point as of right now. so SATA is how i had to go, but then you must think of who is handling the hardware....

is it someone who is "in tune" with it? or just waits for the "idiot light" to go off. if it's the latter, than SAS is absolutely necessary, if it's someone that watches closely, almost never taking an eye or ear off the hardware and system, then i'd say SATA is a reasonable alternative, and can get the job done.

so i'd say it really depends on the controller of the hardware and it's uses more than the hardware itself.


Also you mention your hot spare you could buy 10 hot spares if not 100 for the price of an enterprise quality SAS. So a 5000 dollar 120 gig SAS or 100 120 gig sata 3 drives. I know money is not your main concern in that environment but you could build 5 20 drive raid cabinets for the price of a SAS at enterprise level costs. Not to mention the fact that if you bought 100 SATA3 drives you could probably double that capacity as well for the same price.


I prefer to go the hybrid route and use enterprise class SATA drives. Western Digital makes their RE and RE2 edition drives very close in terms of price to a standard drive and throws in a 5 year warranty. I don't expect much more out of a low grade server as they would usually be replaced in a 5 year window with something new. If they're looking for something to give them a 10-15 year longevity then they're probably not going to balk at the cost of a set of SAS drives.

they need to just lower the damn prices on enterprise storage...most of it is just plain ol' highway robbery... 😞

Hmm this whole conversation gives me a new business idea rofl


Having worked in enterprise storage (EMC) I can say that I have never met a data center manager that gave a moments thought to the price of drives. (To my knowledga) Reliability is what they are concerned with. Their jobs are at stake if data is lost. A bit of a moot point where data storage is concerned. EMC, HP, Fujitsu and Netapp only offer SATA as an option in their very lowest product lines and those machines are rarely ever used as the primary storage medium. Maybe in small to mid sized companies, but I never dealt with those accounts and have no knowledge there. Now as far as servers are concerned SATA is a realistic option as the important data isn't on them anyway. I have seen a significant rise in SATA drives in servers. Can't say how many as I didn't deal directly with servers but I have seen an increase.


EDIT: Hey Rapid, count me in on that business idea!