SATA And Solid State Storage Drives

The advantages of Solid State Storage Drives (SSDs) are dealt with on a separate page. This page is about ways to connect SSDs.

Probably the greatest bminienefit a SSD can give is in a data center, where speed is of the essence but reliability and a long MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) is also extremely important. These devices will typically cost more than those used in a personal laptop where speed and reliability are important, but not the life-and-death matter they can be in a data center.

All of that said, there may still be a choice of interface to be made. Because SATA is not the only contender.

SATA for SSD

SATA is the dominant interface, even in SSDs and even in data centers. Sales of enterprise class SATA drives have been high for some time and the trend shows no sign of abating. One of the reasons for the continuing high level of sales of SATA storage devices is their compatibility with host interfaces – the historic success of SATA as an interface ensures that it continues to sell well, simply because it plugs into existing connectors on a plug and play basis. The level of sales of SATA storage devices keeps the price low.

SAS for SSD

Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) is closely related to SATA and is also becoming a popular choice for enterprise level SSD devices. One reason is the continuing enterprise and data center hunger for speed; SAS-3 (the current level) is twice as fast as SATA, at 12 Gbit/s. Another advantage is reduced latency, measurable as better I/O operations per second. Add to that more configuration options and better data integrity and the reasons for accepting the inconvenience of an interface change start to become clear. Above all, though, is the improved redundancy afforded by SAS support of multiple data paths – and, in this age of Cloud computing and redundancy as a fail-safe precaution, that is a big plus.

PCIe

The growth of Peripheral Component Interconnect Express as an alternative to SATA is new – but watch this space.

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