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What are the merits of SAS vs SATA drives?

Would it be OK to use a SATA 6Gb/s desktop drive in a server? Say for example a 4 Seagate ST31000524AS drives in a raid 10 array.

I will be using NexentaCE. I will be using a 240Gb SSD as a L2ARC cache (read) to the RAID array. I will be using a smalled SSD as a ZIL for the write cache.

I cannot find any 1TB Constellation drives for reasonable prices anymore.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 2 '11 at 18:32

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marked as duplicate by Shane Madden, MDMarra, Scott Pack, mailq, voretaq7 Dec 2 '11 at 19:50

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Consumer Disks vs. Enterprise Disk != SAS/FC vs. SATA. Please reopen. –  dmeister Dec 9 '11 at 8:00

5 Answers 5

Yes, this can work. It's not ideal, if you have any other options. If you use SATA disks, keep close watch on the hardware, errors, controllers. If there's any option to use nearline/midline SAS drives, that's a much better choice for resiliency without too much of a cost hit.

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Be aware that consumer drives aren't designed to run 24 hours a day and will fail very quickly if ran outside this limitation for any length of time.

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It depends. Assuming the server supports the drive it will work but the performance of a desktop rated drive could potentially be worse than a server rated drive. If that doesn't matter I say go for it but be weary of the workload you place on the drive(s).

Several years ago we had a server admin purchase desktop hard drives to save some money and it ended up costing us more in the long run due to outages and having to rebuild the array.

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I would say no. I think the MTBF of server drives will be higher than desktop drives and the speed of the drives will be faster as well.

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Sure, the real difference between a consumer drive and an OEM drive is:

  1. better testing of the drive itself
  2. most times custom firmware on the drive to better suit that OEMs hardware raid cards.

I wouldn't want to bet my life on that drive so it should be redundant and backed up.

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