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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

July - 2011 - issue > Technology

Storage evolves in the wake of 6Gb/s SAS deployments… more improvements ahead

Harry Mason
Friday, July 1, 2011
Harry Mason
6Gb/s SAS Market Update

The market for 6Gb/s SAS is in full swing. Server motherboards are configured with 6Gb/s SAS devices or RAID controllers. SAS expanders, which allow for incremental scaling of SATA and SAS drive connects, are seeing volume deployments in systems and drive enclosures. By protecting investments in legacy middleware, SAS rapidly transformed the mainstream server market and elevated itself into the leading enterprise storage interconnect. The transition from 3Gb/s SAS to 6Gb/s SAS continued to evolve with the addition of enhanced enterprise-capabilities such as standardized zoning and expander discovery. The addition of this increased functionality has helped to open new markets and applications, pushing SAS deeper into high-availability storage solutions.

Growth in the Enterprise

Enhancements like “Self Encrypting Drives” (SEDs) and “end-to-end data protection”, while not specific to SAS, are being delivered via 6Gb/s SAS components and products. In addition, multi-sourced high-capacity SAS drives are selectively challenging enterprise SATA drives, by offering architectural advantages in tiered-storage environments. Collectively, these SAS-delivered features and breadth of product choice have continued to bolster the usage of SAS.

Besides the role of SAS as the primary server storage connection, factors such as drive form-factors, product abundance, high-availability, co-existence with SATA, and pricing have made SAS a solid choice for external NAS or SAN connected storage subsystems, a market segment once dominated by Fibre Channel (FC) drives. This movement into external subsystems makes SAS a leading peripheral connect for numerous “cloud” and tiered storage environments.

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