[rescue] Large FC-AL Drives

Bryan Gurney arb_npx42 at comcast.net
Fri Sep 29 10:26:35 CDT 2006

On Fri, 29 Sep 2006 10:50:50 -0400, Dan Johannsson  
<djohanns at northwestern.edu> wrote:

> On Thu, 28 Sep 2006, Sridhar Ayengar wrote:
>> Does anyone make an FC-AL drive larger than 300GB?
> I noticed the other day that Seagate announced that they are offering the
> 400 and 500GB drives from their Barracuda ES line with fibre channel
> interfaces.  I have not seen part numbers for these, and so far the
> vendors seem to only be carrying the SATA versions.
> See:
> http://www.seagate.com/docs/pdf/marketing/po_barracuda_es.pdf

That sounds like "FATA" to me; basically what would've been an SATA drive,  
but with a fibre channel interface.  I've heard about EMC and Compellent  
using it as a "less performance than full FC-AL, but much much larger for  
the drive price" solution.

On a slightly related tangent, I hope that 146 GB 2.5" SAS drives come  
out, as a number of the tier 1 players are pushing customers toward those  
drives.  Over at $work we NEED 146 GB drives, and it's nice not to have to  
resort to shelves or SAN (despite the DBA's craze for more spindles, mo'  
spindles means mo' money).  Through the latest 2U offerings from all four  
of the tier one vendors, they're using SATA:

IBM: System X 3650 (8 x 2.5" SAS on the ServeRAID 8k controller)
HP: DL380 G5 (8 x 2.5" SAS on the Smart Array P400 controller)
Dell: Poweredge 2950 (8 x 2.5" SAS on the PERC 5/i or 5/E controllers;  
this model also has options for 4 or 6 3.5" drives, but they must be SAS  
or SATA)
Sun: Fire X4200 (4 x 2.5" SAS on an LSI SAS1064 controller; come on, Sun,  
give us some more drives!)

So if you need one logical volume that is 146 GB, you have to cobble  
together four 73's in a RAID 10, leaving you with only two more RAID 1  
logical volumes to play with.  And if you have the x4200, you're sunk; go  
and buy a shelf or some SAN storage.  I'm sure that this is nothing new,  
 from back in the day when the largest single SCSI drive you could get was  
a 36 or a 73, but it's sad to see 2.5" SAS being forced out there without  
a 146 GB drive.  I know for a fact that HP is still offering the DL380 G4,  
which has SCA drives.  Sun has the V40z, but it's probably going to be  
discontinued soon.  Dell does not offer the 2850.  I don't know about IBM,  
since I haven't physically dealt with their servers at all.

Perhaps the lack of a 146 GB drive is marketing motivation to get an EMC  
Clariion / HP StorageWorks EVA / IBM TotalStorage / Sun StorageTek shelf?   


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