Oooops, I revived the never-ending $7K thread. :)

Well part of my message is to first relook at the idea that SATA is cheap but slow. Most people look at SATA from the view of consumer-level drives, no NCQ/TCQ -- basically these drives are IDEs that can connect to SATA cables. But if you then look at the server-level SATAs from WD, you see performance close to server-level 10K SCSIs and pricing also close.

Starting with the idea of using 20 consumer-level SATA drives versus 4 10K SCSIs, the main problem of course is the lack of advanced queueing in these drives. I'm sure there's some threshold where the number of drives advantage exceeds the disadvantage of no queueing -- what that is, I don't have a clue.

Now if you stuffed a ton of memory onto a SATA caching controller and these controllers did the queue management instead of the drives, that would eliminate most of the performance issues.

Then you're just left with the management issues. Getting those 20 drives stuffed in a big case and keeping a close eye on the drives since drive failure will be a much bigger deal.

Greg Stark wrote:
William Yu <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:

Using the above prices for a fixed budget for RAID-10, you could get:

SATA 7200 -- 680MB per $1000
SATA 10K  -- 200MB per $1000
SCSI 10K  -- 125MB per $1000

What a lot of these analyses miss is that cheaper == faster because cheaper
means you can buy more spindles for the same price. I'm assuming you picked
equal sized drives to compare so that 200MB/$1000 for SATA is almost twice as
many spindles as the 125MB/$1000. That means it would have almost double the
bandwidth. And the 7200 RPM case would have more than 5x the bandwidth.

While 10k RPM drives have lower seek times, and SCSI drives have a natural
seek time advantage, under load a RAID array with fewer spindles will start
hitting contention sooner which results into higher latency. If the controller
works well the larger SATA arrays above should be able to maintain their
mediocre latency much better under load than the SCSI array with fewer drives
would maintain its low latency response time despite its drives' lower average
seek time.

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