Tag Archives: 2.5″

HP moves to 300GB SAS

75% less power and 70% less space than 3.5″ drives


HP’s making the move to 300GB 2.5″ SAS drives.  The Seagate-built drive is twice the capacity of previous 2.5″ SAS drives.  HP began shipping the Savvio 10K 300GB SAS drive worldwide to resellers this week.

This is another step in the rapid enterprise storage form factor transition underway.  2.5″ is mainstream for datacenters  starting now.


2.5″ enterprise drives cross the storage system barrier

Savvio is the world’s fastest drive – and uses up to 75% less power than 3.5″ drives


Seagate has rolled out a new generation of  Savvio 2.5″ enterprise drives.  They have better capacity, performance and power efficiency, of course.  But the really big news? These drives signal the performance/capacity/power crossover point between 3.5″ and 2.5″ drives. 

So for a 24-drive 2.5″ 10K rpm storage system vs. a 12-drive 3.5″ 15K rpm storage system:

  • Capacity is now the same (up to 300GB for 2.5″, up to 600GB for 3.5″)
  • Performance is 60% higher
  • Power consumption is 20% lower 

Until now, 2.5″ drives had won over the server market but not the storage system market.  Lower power 2.5″ drives didn’t make up for the cumulative power impact of packing twice as many drives into a single system.  And 2.5″ capacities peaked at 147GB.

No longer!  Expect to see accelerated adoption of 2.5″ into high performance storage systems.

SAS is breaking out of the enterprise

SAS drives are thriving outside the data center, despite SATA’s cost advantage 

Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) was created to replace SCSI, the long-standing enterprise hard drive interface.  It has done that, but there have been sightings far from the datacenter.  Places like Ravelry, a seemingly  home-hosted knitting website

Rather than shrink in the face of lower priced SATA drives, SAS drives are expanding into SATA’s domain.  What’s going on here? 

  • SATA compatibility.  SATA drives interoperate with SAS, so many entry server backplanes and PC motherboards are switching to SAS to cover both interfaces.  This has created a virtual “Storage Foreign Exchange Program” as SATA drives are adopted in the enterprise, and SAS drives are tried in homes and small businesses.
  • Cost.  New 1 TB 7200 RPM SAS drives like the Seagate Barracuda ES.2 cost about $50 more than their SATA equivalents. 
  • Capacity.  The newest SAS enterprise-class drives like Seagate’s 450GB Cheetah 15K.6 offer more capacity than past enterprise drives.  This makes them more affordable on a cost-per-GB basis.
  • Physical size.  The server market has adopted 2.5″ SAS drives en masse, and the storage system market will follow.  These drives use a lot less power and space than conventional enterprise drives without sacrificing performance.  There are no reasonable SATA 2.5″ alternatives today.

If you’re still stuck in a SCSI/SATA mindset, consider a crash course on SAS. 

Who’s replaced SATA or IDE with SAS recently?

SATA drives may have peaked in the enterprise

SAS drives get bigger and smaller to take share from SATA for business applications

IDC data from InfoStor shows this year and next are the golden age of SATA drives in the enterprise. 

It’s not that the trend for high capacity storage abates in the future; it’s that SAS drives are expanding their capabilities to replace SATA in many applications. 

Why settle for an interface originally designed for PCs if you can get the same thing in SAS for a little bit more?

SATA drives won’t go away of course – they still provide the most capacity for the dollar.  If it’s good enough for an application, people will continue to use it. 

Have you made the jump to SAS?  Why or why not?

Dell opens the floodgates for 2.5″ enterprise storage

Becomes the first major supplier to offer a 2.5″ SAS storage system


Dell uncharacteristically took the role of technology leader and launched the MD1120, a direct-attach storage system with 2.5″ SAS drives for their PowerEdge servers (thanks Blocks and Files). It’s likely that their major competitors (and others) will follow with their own announcements in the near future.

Why 2.5″ SAS?

Make no mistake – they may be small, but they are the cream of the crop.  Fastest (for 10K rpm), most reliable, highest data integrity.  Oh – and they use less space and a lot less power than 3.5″ drives.

Don’t confuse 2.5″ SAS drives with notebook drives.  They’re similar in size, but that’s about the only thing they have in common.

The beginning of the end for 3.5″ enterprise drives

The only fatal flaw for 2.5″ and storage has been capacity. These drives are already the standard for servers, but storage system makers couldn’t make the numbers work with only 147GB per drive. 

It looks like 300GB may be the tipping point.  Seagate recently launched the first 300GB 2.5″ SAS drive, the Savvio 10K.3. 

What’s your 2.5″ storage plan?  Is it time?

Power down to scale up

2.5″ enterprise drives reduce storage system power


Conventional wisdom is that 2.5″ enterprise drives are great for servers, but need more capacity to be viable in storage systems.  Problem is, conventional wisdom didn’t account for the vast quantities of these systems packed into an internet data center.

Mario Apicella, InfoWorld’s Storage Advisor, takes a look at Infortrend’s B12 storage system and says the future is now for 2.5″ SAS drives. 

Why?  Less real estate, obviously.  But also much lower power for the same performance: 2.6 Watts less per drive than same-capacity 3.5″ drives.  And dramatically less weight to ship, move around and pile on floors.  

Re-engineering current systems for smaller-format drives is the easiest, most effective way to make storage more energy friendly.

Here’s more info on the Savvio 2.5″ 15K SAS drive Mario referred to in his post. 

Who’s using 2.5″ SAS today?  Servers and/or storage.  What’s your experience?