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I like SATA hard drives. I like them a whole lot. While SCSIdrives are still the toughest and most reliable, SATA drives have many advantages. They don't need expensive controllers. They use nice skinny cables that come in many pleasing colors; they can be hot-swapped; and you get a whale of a lot of gigabytes for your buck. Here is a quick cost comparison from a random shopping site:
- Seagate Cheetah 10K.7, 146GB Hard Drive Ultra320 SCSI $266.99
- Seagate Barracuda ES.2, hard drive, 1TB, SATA-300 $311.99
The SATA drive is the runaway value winner here. When you need SCSI, there are no shortcuts, but when you're not running high-demand mission-critical 24x7x365 servers, SATA drives make sense. When you need to build big storage arrays, SATA offers many options.
The first option is one of my favorites, a Linux-powered SATA RAIDstorage server built on PC hardware. You can stuff as many as eight drives into a single box. (Don't forget to have adequate power and cooling.) Linux software RAID coupled with Linux Volume Manager (LVM) is a great performer, reliable and very flexible.
This article was first published on ServerWatch.com.