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  1. #1

    IDE, SATA, or SCSI?

    Just like the topic says: IDE, SATA, or SCSI? What do you guys think from experience about these three types of drives? Is there big performance differences between the three? The machines I have now are dual 2.8 xeon with 1-2gb of memory using SATA, seems to be running great.

    Any in depth information you can give me about these three drives in the Linux server environment would be greatly appreciated. Please post your personal experiences good or bad and what you have found out to work. I'm building co-location boxes right now and want to stay up to par with the performance. I'm trying to see where I can save money and where I can't save money.

  2. #2
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    SCSI tears apart both PATA and SATA for both speed and reliability.
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  3. #3
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    scsi is way better for speed and reliability, but its also in a totally different price range than pata/sata so there is not much of a comparison.
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  4. #4
    SATA is as affordable as ATA, and if you dont go the SCSI route which is way more expensive, go the SATA route, low profile cables, faster then ATA, great all round

  5. #5
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    If your workload is read-heavy (web server), go with ATA and sink the savings into more memory, for a nice big disk cache. If your workload is a read/write mix (mail server), go with SCSI, which is expensive but handles multiple IO better.
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  6. #6
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    SCSI is the best option if you can afford it, it has very low I/O utilization.
    Linux junkie | steward.io

  7. #7
    Thank you guys for your prompt responses. SCSI sounds like it may be the way to go for us as our clients are cpanel clients. The servers utilize FTP, Mail, and mySQL services on a dailey basis.

    One question that I have yet to figure out though is how do you know when your hard drive is holding back your server? I see memory and cpu load times in top and ps -aux, but never see anything about hard drives other than the usage.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    472
    the reason why SCSI is much better on high load servers is because it has its own processing unit for I/O. For IDE drives, the hard drive utilizes CPU to manage IO. On SCSI, it has its own processing chips and controllers, hence the need for a SCSI controller (about $300) to hook the drive up to.

  9. #9
    Ahh, thank you for clearing that up. Now to figure out where to buy all my parts.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    In top, processes in a 'D' state are waiting on disk IO (either as files or because they're swapped out). If you have more than a couple processes in D state, it means the disks are not keeping up with the requests.
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  11. #11
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    Obviously SCSI is better.

  12. #12
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    Re: IDE, SATA, or SCSI?

    Originally posted by comcage
    Just like the topic says: IDE, SATA, or SCSI? What do you guys think from experience about these three types of drives? Is there big performance differences between the three? The machines I have now are dual 2.8 xeon with 1-2gb of memory using SATA, seems to be running great.

    Any in depth information you can give me about these three drives in the Linux server environment would be greatly appreciated. Please post your personal experiences good or bad and what you have found out to work. I'm building co-location boxes right now and want to stay up to par with the performance. I'm trying to see where I can save money and where I can't save money.
    Compared to IDE and SATA, SCSI is much better for a server: faster and more reliable. You may not need it, sometimes IDE does it job, but if you can afford, choose SCSI.

  13. #13
    Thanks again for your replies.

  14. #14
    I'm thinking that I should use a SCSI for the primary drive with all of the accounts info and all the server settings, then use an sata or ide drive for the second drive as the backup drive (that way I can get a lot more space, and it's only used when backing up or retreiving backups).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    I'd say that's a good thought. I've had a lot of problems with LILO (the linux bootloader) when mixing SCSI and IDE. GRUB may not have the same issues, but I haven't messed with that.
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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
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    291
    Originally posted by comcage
    I'm thinking that I should use a SCSI for the primary drive with all of the accounts info and all the server settings, then use an sata or ide drive for the second drive as the backup drive (that way I can get a lot more space, and it's only used when backing up or retreiving backups).
    We use this setup, and it works pretty fine. You should also consider an external backup option so you can from time to time (ex: weekly) sync the data in the secondary drive to an external server.

    This way, if an account has some problem, you can quickly restore data from the IDE disk. And, if the whole main server (or DC) goes down, you still have your data in another place ready to be restored.

    GNAX, for example, has a nice deal on external backups ($0.50/GB).

  17. #17
    I think I'm just going to use DUAL SATA's. I have a 2.8 xeon, 1gb memory, dual sata server at the planet that is a high traffic server and uses all of the I/O services and does fantastic. The CPU load never goes above 1.

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