Century IT blog

SATA vs SAS what are the benefits?

August 18th, 2009


For many, there can be a lot of confusion when comparing different types of server solutions especially when it comes down the type of hard drives that your server might come with.

A server with SATA hard drives can be considerably cheaper when compared to a server with SAS hard drives, especially if your server quote has multiple hard drives or has a RAID disk subsystem. But this seemingly interchangeable terminology can make all the difference to your IT investment.

SATA – Serial ATA

SAS – Serial Attached SCSI

Serial ATA was designed to replace the older IDE (EIDE) hard drives which were commonly found in most home computer and business workstations.

SAS has evolved separately from the SCSI standard, SCSI drives have traditionally been found in server solutions.

Many server manufacturers including HP and Dell offer entry level servers with SATA drives, with the mid-range and higher end servers coming with SAS hard drives.

According to Seagate, SATA drives are designed to have the following features:-

Computer Support, Network Support

  • Capacity intensive
  • Low availability
  • Sequential reads
  • Seek time 9.5ms
  • Designed to be on 8 Hours a day, 5 days a week

Seagate SAS drives are designed for:-

  • Performance Intensive
  • High Availability
  • Random Reads
  • Seek time of 3.5 ms (15k rpm), 3.9 ms (10k rpm)
  • Designed to be on 24 hours per day, 7 days per week

From a computer support or network support point of view, many SAS drive solutions also include ‘hot swap’ options which basically mean that for many RAID solutions, you can simply replace a failed drive for a replacement without rebooting or interrupting the server or users.

What does all this mean?

Basically if you want good server performance and you don’t want disk I/O bottlenecks and prefer longevity over small price difference, always choose SAS over SATA.

If your requirements are for a small server in a very small office and are not worried about server performance and the larger capacity, cheaper SATA drives appeals to you then choose SATA.

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For more Information on SATA vs SAS see the following links



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