Difference Between SATA and SAS


SAS and SATA are similar interfaces, however there are some notable differences between them. With a huge amount of digital data entering all aspects of life, the need for the most efficient data storage has been keeping developers of hardware and software manufacturers to the limit of technology. Businesses are demanding more secure and reliable data storage and also require it to be available all the time. New technologies have been evolving all the time, and with the introduction of Serial Attached SCSI, or SAS in short, the tough demands of today’s business environment can be met with efficiency and flexibility. SAS gives the power and reliability of SCSI that is required in enterprise class storage. Just what the difference between the previously used SATA and SAS can be seen is better signal integrity, greater device addressability, and higher performance with SAS.

Point to point SAS technology currently gives a maximum speed of 3 GB/sec, whereas the maximum that SATA could achieve was 300 MB/sec, even with an improved SATA, called SATA II. SAS has the promise to operate at even greater speeds of 6 GB/ sec and even 12 GB/sec in future. What is great is the fact that SAS devices are compatible with SATA storage systems which provides a variety of solutions and system consolidation. Parallel interface drives have given way to high performing serial interfaces and SAS and SATA have become the technologies being preferred by the industry.

Differences between SAS and SATA

Though SAS and SATA are compatible and similar, there are some notable differences. Whereas SAS interfaces tend to be suitable for enterprise class environments and have the capability and reliability required for enterprise class and RAID systems, SATA products provide a price advantage and are available at a lower cost. They are typically more suitable for desktop computers and tiered storage requirements such as regulatory compliance, reference data, backup archive, and bulk storage of critical data.

SAS drives retain all the high performance and the reliability of traditional SCSI while overcoming the shortcomings of parallel interface. However, for print servers and file servers, services of SATA drives are preferred because of their low cast and high capacity.

The other notable difference between SAS and SATA pertains to flexibility and design. SAS drive cables can extend up to 6 times the length of SATA drive cables. While SAS drives are dual ported, SATA drives have only a single port. Another difference between the two interface drives is that while SAS is rated for a continuous enterprise use while SATA drives are normally rated for less than 100% duty cycle.