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  1. #1

    New servers with IDE, SATA, Raptor or SCSI ??


    I am in the process of renewing some of my dedicated servers as it seems they are about to reach their limit.

    I use the servers for my own websites. My websites use a form of database that consist in thousands of little files scattered along the hard drive in two level directories (/level1/level2/file), so you can imagine sometimes the hard disk utilization is very high and hard drive performance has a very strong impact in server performance. I would say most of my servers would be limited by disk performance sooner than CPU performance.

    When considering new server options, I often see different options such as IDE, SATA, SATA II, Raptor, SCSI, 10K speed, 15K Speed ... And of course I understand ones are better than others ... but, how much better?

    I am not very sure if there is a real difference in the performance of those and the extra price would be justified. I am not sure if it is better to spend more money on a faster CPU or rather on a faster drive, or even having two drives, one for the OS and website scripts and the other for the DB.

    I am considering fitting SCSI in my new servers, but, is there a real difference in performance between SATA and SCSI ?? Is it worth the extra money?

    Is it worth it moving from SCSI 10K to SCSI 15K ?

    Is it better to have two SATA II 7.2K drives or one single SCSI 10K/15K ? (single SCSI option is more expensive) I am seriously considering having two drives but I am not sure it would be worth it.

    Would increasing the RAM have a significant impact on hard drive utilization by having a bigger memory disk cache?? (I use CentOS)

    What do you guys think about these issues?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    United Kingdom
    If any of the suppliers you wish to go with offer you SAS drives I would jump on it.
    SAS is the new future for hard-drives they outperform any SCSI or SATA disk on the market.

    Having lots of memory and fast memory can make a difference specifically if you notice your server is on the limits of your physical ram. The last thing you want is for SWAP memory to be used as this will degrade your performance.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    1. Go with SAS, Best performance out there. Also I suggest RAID10.
    2. Run "top" and watch for swap usage. If there is 0% it's OK , if not you need more RAM.

  4. #4
    Thank you for your replies.

    The problem is that out of the companies I am considering, it is only Softlayer and Netdepot that offers SAS disks, and even like that it comes at a price. And I need five servers with different companies.

    The rest of them offer SATA II, and sometimes SCSI as an upgrade. My doubt is if there is that much different between SATA II and SCSI to justify the extra price, or maybe I would rather spend it on having a second SATA disk.

    What do you think?


  5. #5
    Go with RAID, using SATA II drives at least (SAS would be better)

    You get safety from drive failure, and also performance.

    Do RAID10, not 5. RAID10 is much faster.

    If it's two drives, RAID1. A *good* RAID1 card (like a 3ware 9xxx series) with 2 SATA II drives will outperform a single drive, even if it's 15K RPM., hosting thousands of customers since 1998
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