Fujitsu SAS drives available in Supermicro canister

Fujitsu SAS drives available in Supermicro canister

Several companies have teamed up to make the first serial-attached SCSI (SAS) hard drives available for use in midrange servers.

Distributor, Bell Microproducts, said it would sell a storage canister built by Supermicro using Fujitsu's 36GB and 73GB SAS hard drives and LSI Logic's controller chips. The companies demonstrated the canister, which can hold eight 2.5-inch hard drives, working with existing 2-way and 4-way server chassis designs.

SAS was being promoted as a successor to UltraSCSI (small computer systems interface) storage technology, said Mike Chenery, vice-president of advanced product engineering with Fujitsu Computer Products of America.

SAS technology allowed hard drives and storage networks to exchange data at faster rates than UltraSCSI products while maintaining compatibility with older technology by using much of the same software as UltraSCSI, he said.

The older parallel UltraSCSI design used several channels to transmit data between hard drives and the computer's motherboard. SAS scraps that design in favor of a single link that sends data in small bits at up to 3Gbps (bits per second), Chenery said.

Hard drive manufacturers such as Seagate Technology and Maxtor were expected to release their own SAS server hard drives later this year, but the Supermicro canister was believed to be the first product available, Chenery said.

SAS could work in conjunction with serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) technology, which was used in desktop and notebook hard drives, Chenery said.

Supermicro's storage canister is available through Bell Microproducts' partners starting Wednesday, according to director of marketing with Supermicro, Tau Leng.

The M28E canister can fit in rack or tower servers, connected to the rest of the system by host bus adapters from LSI Logic.

Pricing information for the storage canister was not immediately available.

Fujitsu expected its hard drives would eventually cost about the same as their 3.5-inch 15,000 rpm hard drives - about $US180 for the 36GB drives and $US370 for the 73GB drives, Fujitsu marketing executive, Kenny Nguyen, said.

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