Which hard disk do i need for my server? Is a sata or sas hard disk enough or better an ssd??

SATA or SAS hard disk or equal an SSD? This question comes up a lot when choosing a server, especially for smaller businesses. In this article you will learn what is the right choice for your area of application.

SATA and SAS hard disk

Compatibility between the two protocols

Probably the most important thing for most is, which hard drives fit into their system at all. Because so you may be able to continue to use old plates.

A SATA hard drive is more versatile than a SAS hard drive. It can be used with the SATA connector, which can be found in every desktop PC, but it also works without problems with SAS controllers. SAS hard disks on the other hand are less versatile. They only work on the expensive but feature rich SAS controllers.

SATA and SAS hard disk

SATA (left) and SAS (right) look confusingly similar, but are only compatible to a limited extent.

The advantages of the SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) protocol

The successor to the long obsolete SCSI protocol is built on SATA, but was designed from the ground up for server applications. That’s why it has special features that make it exactly suitable for them.

Connections are designed for large systems

For one thing, the cabling needs to be considered. Who once SAS Controller with four ports, you will notice that this one has only one physical port. This is because the connections on the controller are always bundled into four channels. With a special cable, four hard disks can be connected, or they can be bundled and connected to a backplane. These make it easy to switch pots, thanks to Hot Plug even during operation. A fast and trouble-free exchange of hard disks is often essential for IT administrators. Because in the event of a defect, not only can smooth operation be ensured, but also that no crucial data is lost.

Two computers can access one disk

For smooth operation SAS has another very important feature which SATA lacks, the so-called Dual Porting. A SAS hard disk has two ports. You can use them to double their bandwidth, but more importantly, you can access them with two systems at the same time. This way, two systems could access the same disks for particularly important applications. In case one of them fails, the second one can take over without any downtime.

More hard disks than ports

For large amounts of data that require many hard drives are so-called Expander particularly important. These can be connected to controllers or are often already integrated into backplanes. expanders allow to connect more than one hard disk to one port. In the meantime, there are expanders from 4 to 36 ports.

Besides, SAS hard disks are designed to run in servers. So compatibility with servers is guaranteed if you buy them directly from the manufacturer or from an authorized reseller like IPC.

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