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While looking on Google Product search for drives for a new file server, I noticed that that almost all of the cheapest 300GB 10k drives are Fibre Channel drives: Google Products search result page.

This naturally begged two questions:

  • Why are Fibre Channel drives cheaper than the equivalent SAS drives?
  • Is there a way to build an internal hardware RAID 5 array with 8 fibre channel drives similar to one with 8 SAS drives?

Thanks in advance!

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closed as not constructive by Chopper3 Aug 3 '11 at 8:23

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I'm sorry but this question is probably not a good fit for server fault, as it firstly skirts around the edges of being a shopping or shopping related question, and is localised to a particular time point as the price issues you talk about and link to in your google search may not remain valid. – RobM Aug 3 '11 at 7:53
up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is an odd question and while I do agree with Robert's point that this isn't really suited for this site I do buy an AWFUL lot of disks and I never thought I'd see a post where someone said they were surprised how cheap FC ones were :)

Well firstly I have to say that FC disks have always been staggeringly expensive compared to anything else. This was always due to the 'enterprise' nature of these disks rather than the actual transmission method, they're always built to last forever and can run 24x365. That said FC disks are slowly being phased out in favour of SAS disks purely because of the price differentials introduced now that the volume of SAS disk has got so high, the more they make the cheaper they are to make etc.

As to why the ones on your search are cheap, well that's a different matter. Firstly many if not all of those disks are for very specific disk arrays, not even current arrays either, and some may be refurbished and almost all won't have the regular (in the UK) 12-36 month warranty. Essentially that's a bargain-bin look at FC drives, if you go to HP/EMC/NetApp etc. and ask for quotes for new ones of those disks you'll find your quote will be MUCH higher than those prices.

Could you make an array of these, sure why not - you'd need to buy new mounts for most of them as they're in custom ones and buy an FC controller but yeah, it'll work.

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