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My server supports hardware RAID and it can use SATA drives.

I wonder does it depend on Server or on a Discs to know, if they support hot swapping? And rebuilding while working?

I know that SAS drives are intended to be used as a hotswap. How about SATA's?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Hot-swap is more a function of the drive-controller than the drive itself. Doing it requires some procedures to be followed by the controller that are more expensive to implement than a simple controller. Some RAID controllers turn off the disk-cache and rely on on-controller cache to satisfy the same need, as this ensures that when the data gets sent to a disk it is committed immediately. Some controllers don't handle connection-after-boot, which is what hotswap is.

I've used SATA drives in hot-swap situations, the drive environment just needs to be engineered for it. And by environment I mean "easy to remove without dismantling the case". Mostly it's just press a button, pull the handle, extract drive, replace. Those systems have a separate backplane and drive-carriers that make the hot-swapping easy. Those can be off the shelf SATA drives, just in the right carriers.

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+1 - this is correct. I have a SuperMicro chassis loaded with 24x SATA drives (because I can't get 2.5" SAS drives at the moment) and a standard part of our setup procedure is to test the hot swapping and hot spare functionality. It works fine. –  Mark Henderson Dec 18 '11 at 22:27
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well, actually hotswap is rather a function of a standard (protocol+electrical specification) than controller ... both SATA and SAS standards do support HotSwap, and pretty much all SATA/SAS raid controllers support it as well (most desktop SATA controllers can mange hotswapped drives too). and while it is possible even on IDE drives, it is not the best idea to use (because it's not electrically designed to be hotswapped) ... –  Fox Dec 19 '11 at 0:02

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