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StorageTek SATA Disk Modules    
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StorageTek Disks
FC Disk Drives
rightarrow 600GB 15K
rightarrow 450GB 15K
rightarrow 300GB 15K
rightarrow 300GB 10K
rightarrow 146GB 15K
SATA Disk Drives
rightarrow 1TB 7200 RPM

SUN StorageTek SATA Disk Modules

SUN / Oracle qualified a variety of SATA disk modules for use inside the 6000 Series Product Line. See below for some tips on choosing SATA drives over 10K / 15K Fibre Channel drives and how to find a reputable vendor for spare SATA disks.

Problems with Adapter Boards

StorageTek Disk Modules ship with drives with proprietary SATA-FC converter boards. These converter boards are paired to the drive at the factory and run firmware specific to the drive attached to them. Unauthorized vendors may try to pair miscellaneous drives to adapter boards which will cause performance issues as well as problems when applying future Common Array Manager (CAM) updates. Merchants may call these drives "bulk" or "pulls." Such drives should be avoided unless the vendor can assure you that the drives and paddle boards have been properly mated per Common Array Manager (CAM) specifications.

Avoid "Bulk" and "Pull" Products

SUN / Oracle does not sell drives as "new bulk." Bulk and pull disk drives are not new and usually have thousands of power-on hours recorded in the log pages.

SATA disk drives have much shorter life spans that 10K / 15K FC drives. Vendors advertising drives as "bulk" are not sourcing new drives through authorized distributors (TechData, Ingram Micro, Synnex, etc.). Most often, vendors using these terms are merely brokers and don't have the resources to test drives.

If you are buying drives that are not retail, factory sealed, units, you should ask the vendor the following questions:

  • How many power on hours do the drives have? How was this determined?
  • What firmware revision is the drive running?
  • What firmware revision is the SATA-FC Bridge Running?
  • What is the SMART status of the drive?

You should compare the answers to these questions against recommendations in the release notes for the latest SUN CAM (Common Array Manager) Baseline Firmware.


SATA vs. FC Drives

SUN / Oracle designed the StorageTek 6000 series SANs to accept both 10K/15K FC drives and 7200 RPM drives within the same CSM200 enclosure. SATA drives offer a significant increase in the number of gigabytes per dollar over Fibre Channel drives, but at the expense of speed and reliability.

Individual SATA disk drives spinning at 7200 RPM will usually product about 35-50 IOs per second (random read/write.) 10K FC disk drives will usually produce 65-80 IO/s per second. 15K drives usually can achieve 90-135 IOPS, over twice the speed of 7200 RPM drives. (Actual performance depends on drive mode page settings, if the drives are configured in a RAID, cache sizes, etc.) Due to the slower performance of SATA drives, they are usually recommended only for bulk storage applications such backup arrays / virtual tape libraries.

SATA drives are not designed to withstand constant I/O activity like FC drives are. SATA drives usually have an expected life span of 1-2 years whereas FC drives will operate for 3-5 years on average. This is why it is critical to buy SATA drives from a reputable company offering at least a 1-Year warranty with an Advanced Exchange service. While SATA drives offer a large number of Gigabytes per dollar, they are by no means inexpensive devices. A strong warranty or maintenance plan will help maximize the ROI on your SATA investment.


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Please contact us if you have any product installation or compatibility questions. We don't have "sales representatives;" we have engineers that know how to implement the correct storage solution for your business.

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