You may have noticed that Dell’s new EqualLogic SAN product line no longer contains the traditional SATA drives most often reflected in the past “E” series like the formerly active PS4000E, PS5000E, and PS6000E series. The newer generation of EqualLogic – such as the PS4100E, PS4110E, PS6100E, PS6110E, PS6510E and other EqualLogic “E” product lines – now contains the Nearline SAS drives, more commonly termed NL SAS.
So, why the move away from SATA to NL SAS?
In general, NL SAS drives are built to address more of the enterprise-level storage environments and applications. NL SAS tends to have a higher MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) rate, averaging about 1.2 million hours MTBF, and it tends to be just as cost effective from a cost per Gigabyte perspective as a traditional SATA drive would be.
While the NL SAS drives tend to come in flavors of 5.4K and 7.2K RPM drives, they are known to “(combine) the head, media, and rotational speed of traditional enterprise class SATA drives with the fully capable SAS interface typical of 10K/15K RPM SAS drives.” Essentially you’re getting the best of both worlds (SATA and SAS). Plus, compared to SATA drives, the interface is about 30% faster as well.
Faster drives…better cost…more uptime and reliability…? Sounds like a recipe for EqualLogic iSCSI SAN success if you ask me. EqualLogic pricing is available on all EqualLogic SAN models, including those with NL SAS for both Gigabit and 10GigE arrays.