Seagate Barracuda ES.2 1TB SAS Hard Drive

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Let’s talk about SCSI for a moment. The disk interface which was once ubiquitous with high-end workstations and servers is now on the verge of obsolescence. With the influx of inexpensive and reliable Serial ATA hard disks and hardware SATA RAID controllers (which can provide excellent performance at a fraction of a SCSI’s price), it’s not surprising to see why legacy SCSI doesn’t even enter the mind of enterprise server and workstation platform buyers, even those diehards of the past.

However, like PATA's evolution to SATA, SCSI has also gone the way of serial connectivity and it still holds its advantages. For example, 15K RPM hard disks are only available with a SCSI or SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) interface, and true hardware SAS RAID cards, when paired with 15,000 RPM disks, can deliver performance that SATA setups simply can’t deliver at this point in time. Not to mention the additional diagnostic, error reporting and recovery capabilities of SAS in a RAID set, that you just can't get in the event of a drive failure in a SATA RAID set.  However, the price per gigabyte versus the performance that SAS offers over SATA simply hasn’t worked out in favor of SAS, and as such, the standard has been struggling to stay relevant. This is evident in the new generation of solid state hard drives (SSDs) being offered with SATA interfaces and not a hint of SAS SSD offerings on the horizon. 

That said SAS solution providers seem to be reacting, as the barriers to entry for SAS versus SATA have been fading away as of late. SAS controller cards can be had for a little as $70, and SAS hard drives are dropping in price, though historically capacities have trailed SATA by a long shot. Also, some new motherboards offerings are being equipped with onboard SAS controllers as well. 


Today, we’ll be showcasing one of the most significant developments to date, toward getting SAS more frequently into the vernaculars of workstation/server buyers and maybe even a few enthusiasts - relatively cheap, high-capacity SAS storage – thanks to Seagate. Seagate currently offers 10,000 and 15,000 RPM disks with SAS interfaces at a fraction of the capacity versus SATA offerings and as such, much higher prices.  However, Seagate just launched their Barracuda ES.2 platform with a SAS interface that offers capacities up to 1 Terabyte (1 TB). Not only is the Barracuda ES.2 the highest capacity SAS disk to date, it’s also the first SAS disk we’ve seen on the market with a 7,200 RPM spindle speed and SATA-like pricing.
  


A pair of Seagate's new Barracuda ES.2 SAS 1 TB drives.

Lower spindle speeds typically correlate to far lower prices per GB, and now with high-capacity disks available at more competitive prices, enterprise customers can mix and match their smaller (fast) SAS drives together with slower, but larger capacity SAS disks for bulk storage, on the same controller. In addition, this new large capacity Seagate SAS offering allows high-end or enthusiast end users to consider SAS for desktop builds.  It’s definitely an interesting move by Seagate, that caught us by surprise a bit. However, here we are, with a pair of Barracuda ES.2 1 TB drives with SAS interfaces on our hands. Our job is to figure out where these drives fit into the workstation/server storage market that exists today and see if they represent a competitive value in comparison to the array of 1 TB SATA drives on the market.  Let’s find out.

Seagate will be making the Barracuda ES.2 SAS drive in 500 GB, 750 GB, and 1.0 TB flavors, depending on the number of platters used in the drives. As expected, the Barracuda ES.2 is built on perpendicular recording technology, and features a 250 GB per platter density. These attributes are shared between the ES.2 SAS and SATA lineups, along with the Barracuda 7200.11 series drives.

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Comments
rapid1 6 years ago

LOL seems pointless to me the cost/performance average is so minimal and specialized it makes no point. Get twice the sata drives and memory for the same price and have better as well as a wider performance spectrum with the same additional costs for controllers. This is where ssd's come in they average a 60-80% performance increase over sata for right around the same amount of storage cap. as a SATA drive. I would say 40-65% performance increase over a SCSI drive with a pretty close price margin I would go sata drives twice the capacity and 1/4-1/3% more memory for storage and ssd for my lower storage (speed) amount drives and run it in raid. Therefore for the same rough cost amount I at least double response times and storage times with the memory overhead thrown in for the same (roughly) price margin.dont I?

AjayD 6 years ago
I don't know too much about SCSI drives, but I was under the impression that their main advantage was their higher RPM. If this new SAS drive has a 7200 RPM speed, what advantage would there be to getting one vs a standard SATA drive?
lordmozilla 6 years ago

Okay this review tops it. So you claim the advantage of the drive is so that you can mix and match high perf 15/10k SAS drives with high capacity 7.2k drives.  This is dumb. SAS controllers support SATA drives - how do you think server integrators (look at recent dell poweredge servers eg R900) fit SATA drives with SAS drives?

let's have a look at good ol' wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA 

 [quote]The current SATA specification can support data transfer rates as high as 3.0 Gbit/s per device. SATA uses only 4 signal lines; cables are more compact and cheaper than for PATA. SATA supports hot-swapping and NCQ. There is a special connector (eSATA) specified for external devices, and an optionally implemented provision for clips to hold internal connectors firmly in place. SATA drives may be plugged into Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) controllers and communicate on the same physical cable as native SAS disks, but SATA controllers cannot handle SAS disks.[/quote]

So you just reviewed one of the most useless products i've recently seen. Or you missed the point. I think probably the latter. There must be something different about this drive compared to the SATA one, and it can't just be the connector. Or maybe it is, and they are actually the same drive with the only difference being it takes a SAS connector but does not actually use SCSI commands?

 Brendan

 edit :

[quote]LOL seems pointless to me the cost/performance average is so minimal and specialized it makes no point. Get twice the sata drives and memory for the same price and have better as well as a wider performance spectrum with the same additional costs for controllers. This is where ssd's come in they average a 60-80% performance increase over sata for right around the same amount of storage cap. as a SATA drive. I would say 40-65% performance increase over a SCSI drive with a pretty close price margin I would go sata drives twice the capacity and 1/4-1/3% more memory for storage and ssd for my lower storage (speed) amount drives and run it in raid. Therefore for the same rough cost amount I at least double response times and storage times with the memory overhead thrown in for the same (roughly) price margin.dont I?[/quote]

Ok you have never used 15k scsi drives have you?  They beat traditional 7.2k SATA drives by an enormous margin. They beat raptor/velociraptors by a fair bit too. SSD's have awesome access times but in raw read/write speeds they are still really slow compared to old SCSI tech. Where do you get the 60-80% perf increase from SATA to SSD? that's completely made up, look at a review :

http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=2982&p=5

ok this is a slow old tech SSD, but the new ones aren't better by miles. 

digitaldd 6 years ago

Seems like this is a drive for the set where the boss won't let you buy a SATA drive and forces you to buy the more expensive 1TB SAS drive. I assume as with most exterprise hardware you get the full enterprise warranty.

audumla 6 years ago

 What I want to know is if there is any difference in using the SATA version or the SAS one. Considering that both can be plugged into a SAS raid controller I would think that a test of each drive on the same controller in single and raid configuration would be a real test of whether the drives are actually any different.

digitaldd 6 years ago

[quote user="audumla"]

 What I want to know is if there is any difference in using the SATA version or the SAS one. Considering that both can be plugged into a SAS raid controller I would think that a test of each drive on the same controller in single and raid configuration would be a real test of whether the drives are actually any different.

[/quote] 

difference is in the warranty and a lot of SAS drives are 10,000 rpm not 7200rpm like this one. I guess if you want sheer capacity you have to make due with less performance. 

Dave_HH 6 years ago

Heya Aud,

First, welcome to the forums here. If you look at the article, there are some comparison tests, each drive on its own native controller, SATA and SAS:

http://www.hothardware.com/Articles/Seagate_Barracuda_ES2_SAS_1_TB_/

The base drive platform is indentical though, except for the interface.  I'll ask our editor to chime in here with his thoughts too though.

Thanks!

Venom 6 years ago

The only real differences between SAS and SATA interfaces is that SAS supports longer cable length, 10 meters vs 1 meter for SATA, and that SAS drives are mostly 10k or 15k RPM (thus much louder). SATA drives can be used with SAS controllers, but not the other way around. Both interfaces offer the same speed, although SAS interface spec uses higher voltage due to the increase max cable length. I've also never seen hot-swap SATA controllers, but it's pretty common for higher end servers to have hot-swappable SAS controllers.

 SATA doesn't mean that the drive is a desktop drive, there are plenty of enteprise SATA drives which are usually 2.5 inches rather than the standard 3.5 for PCs.

 Anyway, my thinking for why Seagate is releasing these drives is because it's not much more expensive to produce them over the SATA versions and it looks better to the CTO/CIO being a SAS rather than a SATA drive. :) Maybe the cable lenght limit of SATA has something to do with it also.  

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