View Full Version : GamePC: Bleeding Edge Storage : Seagate’s Cheetah 15K and SAS 3Gbit

08-22-06, 07:19 AM
"SCSI has been suffering a long, slow decline in the past several years. Many of you out there reading this lab report may believe that SCSI (as a disk interface) is already dead. Some of you may never have even heard of it, as SCSI's market presence is a fraction of what it was at the beginning of the decade. With the introduction of new Serial ATA and Serial ATA-II/300 class hard drives and controllers, SCSI has nearly been wiped from the vocabulary of a modern day enthusiast. With good reason, too. Serial ATA has provided users with a low-cost, high-reliability disk interface with hot-swap support, while at the same time providing plentiful amounts of bandwidth, all wrapped up in an easy to use one-cable, one-drive system which makes installation a breeze.

It was once thought to be crazy to use anything but SCSI in a high-end workstation or server, as ATA based hard drives lacked the reliability and features of full-fledged SCSI setups. However, with the introduction of new high-reliability Serial ATA drives like Western Digital's Raptor / RE2 and Seagate's NL35 product lines, along with the addition of cheap Serial ATA RAID controllers for those who want data redundancy, nearly every major selling point of SCSI has been bested by Serial ATA. In addition, enterprise-class items like hot-swap backplanes and hardware-based RAID controller cards for Serial ATA are now prevalent in the market, perhaps even more so than Ultra320 SCSI at this point.

Thus, one has to wonder if there is any place left for SCSI in this world. The answer is yes, of course (otherwise, why would we be writing this?), but SCSI as we know it won't be as dominant of a force as it once was. The latest incarnation of the SCSI interface, known as Serial Attached SCSI, has conceded this point and adopted many of the same technologies which are featured in Serial ATA, and are looking to have these two technologies co-exist with each other. While it's taken quite a lot longer than originally expected to really start moving, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS, for short) has really picked up pace in the past few months with a series of new SAS-enabled products hitting the market. With all this new gear now available, we thought it was about time to give SAS the proper lab report it deserves. Let's see what this new interface is capable of when paired with some of the fastest hard drives available, Seagate's SAS-enabled Cheetah 15K series."

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