[rescue] 36G SCA drives still looking

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Fri Mar 4 00:20:55 CST 2005

Patrick Finnegan wrote:
> On Wednesday 23 February 2005 17:29, Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. wrote:
>> Nobody out there with 36G SCA SCSI drives availalble ???
>> In particular I'd really like to find one or two
>> Quantum XC36J011 (Atlas V SCA inch height).
>> Surely somebody out there must have a few of these available ???
> <AOL>Have you tried ebay?</AOL>
> They're not cheap there, but a helluva lot less expensive than new 
> drives cost...  Of course, if you're one of those people that doesn't 
> like to support ebay for one reason or another, then you probably 
> aren't going to want to get one from there. :)

For the last couple of years, the good deals on SCSI drives have been 
drying up.

This past week I found myself needing to boost the storage in my Linux 
box to 80GB, preferrably a raid.

4-5 years ago I was buying SCSI drives for about 20% more than the same 
speed/capacity IDE, and they were faster and more reliable.  I never 
bought IDE except as a cheap drive for Windows/gaming, or temp space. 
Granted, I had to shop auctions and RAID overstock sellers, but I rarely 
had any trouble getting drives when I needed them.

Not any more.

I looked everywhere, and comparing capacities the SCSI drives now cost 
several times what SATA and IDE drives cost, even the same basic models.

Part of the reason is because it is very hard now to find high capacity 
SCSI drives running at 7200 rpm.  They are all 10K and faster, which 
probably explains some of the difference.  The drives you can find are 
often over 1 inch high, and most of my equipment can't use anything larger.

I was running out of space and time, so I went ahead and bought a pair 
of 80GB SATA drives, Seagate Barracudas with NCQ.  They were $60 each 
from newegg.com.  I removed one of my SCSI controllers, and replaced by 
SCSI raid with the SATA raid.  My OS drives are still SCSI, but they are 
also around 4-5 years old and will eventually need to be replaced.

I'm still in a pickle though, because the drives in my Sun's are getting 
old, and I need about 200GB of space on a LAN file server.

I can't afford to buy new SCSI drives for them, unless some really good 
deals start popping up.

I have considered just getting a bunch of 18GB SCSI drives, but the 
cases are expensive, and more small drives means higher power, noise, 
and heat.

It's looking a lot like I'm going to have to try and find a headless 
server of some kind that can do SATA.

Is the SCSI price suckage going to end any time soon, or get worse?  I 
really hate to have to leave SCSI, but I am having a hard time affording 
to keep using it.

Performance notes:

The SATA drives are very fast in raw transfer and seek.  They seem to 
handle both streaming data transer and transaction heavy loads without 
much trouble.

I bought the NCQ version of the Barracuda, which is supposed to do 
hardware tagged command queue if your controller supports it.  I've not 
yet verified this is working.

I have not had time yet to create a load test that will push transaction 
load really high, which is where I would expect SATA to lose.

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