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ssd vs sas vs sata

SSD vs SAS vs SATA: Which Is Better For A Dedicated Server?

IT January 3rd 2022

Summary:  SSD vs SAS vs SATA drives in detail to determine which of these three is ideal for your dedicated server. Read to know if SSD & SAS Drives are better than SATA.

Data is the driving force for modern internet applications. In a connected world, where everyone wants everything instantly, the speed at which the data is transferred to and from your application can make or break it. And that is why choosing the right hard drive is crucial for your dedicated servers. 

When it comes to choosing the right storage and disk performance option, you should consider the core requirements of your dedicated server.

The deciding factors for storage disks are rotation speed, storage & cache capacity, and cost. When it comes to data storage, SSD vs SAS vs SATA are prominent names. While all these serve the same purpose of data transfer, these vary in designs and capabilities. So, which of these is the best suited for your dedicated server?

Before we discuss further on this, we must first know more about these three different forms of drives. 

Let’s get started.


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SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) Drives

This type of drive connects to the disk drive in a point-to-point interface. Admins typically use it in higher-end servers and workstations. SAS functions on a dual-port and offers higher capacity. In case of any controller failure in SAS drives, the redundancy remains high with uninterrupted performance. 

The SAS built-in comprises:

  • 2 conductors each for sending and receiving data
  • Ground cables in between the conductors to minimize interference. 

Typically, SAS drives are used to deliver high enterprise performance and sustain heavy loads.

On the technical front, it offers:

  • Rotation Speed: Ranges between 7,200 RPM (Near Line/NL SAS) to 15,000 RPM.
  • Reliability: MTBF (Mean time before failure) is 1.2 to 1.6 million hours at 45 degrees Celsius.
  • Storage: Mostly offers 600 GB storage. 
  • Access Rate: Data transfer rate is 15 Gb/s.

Advantages Of SAS Drives 

  • Minimizes storage failure
  • Delivers high performance
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Higher scalability
  • Valuable speed

sas drives - sas vs sata

  1. Minimizes storage failure rates by reducing the number of physical interconnects.
  2. Delivers high performance with 15000 RPM, which results in a greater bandwidth and better drive performance. 
  3. The physically small structure allows data centers to improve their energy efficiency. In addition, their smaller footprint allows the installation of more drives per system for greater redundancy and performance density. 
  4. Higher scalability because of its capacity to scale over 100 drives. 
  5. Valuable where speed is more important than capacity.

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SSD (Solid State Drives) 

This type of disk drive has no mechanical moving components and delivers great performance. Zero moving parts also means lesser risks of failure and increased power efficiency.

It is a ‘solid’ investment if you are looking for speed as these offer 100 times greater throughput than traditional drives. SSD drives are reliable and ideal for high-frequency transactional data like CRM, database, or bank transactions. 

On the technical front, SSD offers:

  • Read/Write Speed: Up to 550 MB per second.
  • Reliability: MTBF is 1.5 million hours.
  • Storage: Offers 120GB to 30.72TB storage. 
  • Access Rate: Data transfer rate is between 200 MB/s to 550 MB/s.

Advantages Of SSD Drives 

  • Shock-resistant
  • Delivers unbeatable speed
  • Consumes less power
  • Less prone to mechanical damage
  • Low operational cost

ssd drives - sas vs sata

  1. These are shock-resistant because they don’t have any moving components like spindles. 
  2. Delivers unbeatable speed and consumes less power. Hence low carbon footprint.
  3. Less prone to mechanical damage. 
  4. Low operational cost.  

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SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) Drives 

SATA uses a bus interface to connect with mass storage components like hard disks or optical drives. These are known for their outstanding storage capacity and power efficiency. Their higher storage capacity makes them ideal for file sharing, web, email, backup, and archival data. These are also used in low-end servers. 

On the technical front: 

  1. Rotation Speed: Ranges between 5400 RPM to 7200 RPM. 
  2. Reliability: MTBF is 7,00,000 hours to 1.2 million hours at 25 degree Celsius.
  3. Storage: Offers more than 2 TB storage. 
  4. Access Rate: Up to 6 Gb/second.

Advantages Of SATA Drives 

  • Affordable
  • Offers high storage capacity
  • Power-efficient
  • Increased data transfer rate
  • Support multiple drives

sata drives - sas vs sata

  1. SATA drives are affordable which is why these are common among consumers.
  2. These offer high storage capacity. 
  3. Power-efficient.
  4. Increased data transfer rate
  5. Supports Multiple Drives

What are the differences between SSD vs SAS vs SATA?

So, here are the main points of differences between SSD vs SAS vs SATA:

Factors SAS SSD SATA
Speed 7200 RPM to 15000 RPM Read/Write Speed Up to 550 MB/s 5400 RPM to 7200 RPM
Storage 600 GB  120GB to 30.72TB More than 2 TB
Power  Comparatively less efficient than SATA Comparatively less efficient than SATA Power-efficient
Price Expensive Expensive Affordable
Usage High-end servers and workstations high-frequency transactional data Low-end servers, email, file sharing, backup, archival data
Performance Best  Better  Good 

Are SAS drives really better than SATA?

While the decision to choose between SAS vs SATA is entirely requirement-specific, most businesses opt for SAS for their mission-critical websites. This is because SAS (and even SSD) offer better throughput, speed, and a lower risk rate. On the contrary, if your focus is on storage than reliability and speed, SATA is your option. So yes, SAS drives are better than SATA drives. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Q 1. Are SAS hard drives better than SATA?

Ans. Both SAS and SATA are used to connect computer storage units like media drives or hard drives to motherboards. SATA drives offer larger storage than SAS and are pocket-friendly. These are generally used in personal computing. On the other hand,  SAS drives are faster and more reliable than SATA drives and hence are ideal for servers. So, SAS hard drives are definitely better than SATA. 

Q 2. Which is better SAS or SSD?

Ans. This depends on your requirement! While SAS drives are suitable for enterprise server storage, SSD is ideal for high-frequency transactional data. Both SAS and SSD are great at performance and reliability. However, SSD is shock-resistant and consumes less power than SAS. Cost-wise, SAS drives are affordable than SSD.


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Q 3. What is the benefit of SAS drives?

Ans. SAS drives deliver high performance with 15K RPM, which results in a greater bandwidth and better drive performance. These are highly reliable, faster, and are energy-efficient. 

Q 4. How much faster is SAS than SATA?

Ans. SAS drives are able to rotate much faster, up to 15000 RPM than SATA drives (typically 7.2K RPM). Hence, SAS drives may be substantially more than 2 times faster than SATA. 

Q 5. How Do I Choose a Hard Drive For My Server?

Ans. When choosing the right hard drive for a server you should consider:

  •  What do you need: an Internal or external hard drive.
  • Storage Capacity you need
  • Performance (latency, rotation speed, positioning speed)
  • Interface
  • HDD or SSD

Q 6. Do SAS drives use more power?

Ans. Yes, SAS consumes more power as compared to SATA. SAS drives can use at least two times the signaling voltage than SATA or ATA drives. And more power means higher running costs.

Q 7. What is a SAS SSD?

Ans. Serial-Attached SCSI solid-state drive or SAS SSD is a caching device NAND flash-based storage. It uses the SAS interface to connect to the host computer. SAS SSD is designed in a way to fit in the same slot as a hard drive (HDD). 


Conclusion 

We hope this blog has unraveled all your doubts about the types of hard drives SSD vs SAS vs SATA and which hard drives should you choose for your dedicated server. So, make the right choice to ensure top performance & longevity of your server.