by Mark Kidd

SAS Goes the Distance [STA 2012]

The SCSI Trade Association’s (STA) Technology Showcase is an important venue for storage industry leaders and innovators to showcase their latest technologies. This week’s STA event offered a look into approaches for serial attached storage (SAS) connectivity that extend the reach of SAS links to achieve 10-meter cable lengths for passive copper, 25-meter lengths for active copper, and optical connections that can span 100 meters or more. The demonstration was sponsored by PMC, LSI, Seagate and Xyratex.

SAS storage architectures facilitate scalable configurations by providing three interoperable SAS connectivity options:

  • Passive copper cables for up to 10m rack-to-rack connections
  • Active copper cables for 10m to 25m for datacenter connectivity
  • Optical connections for links 100m and beyond

SAS scales up to multi-switch fabrics, supporting high availability through redundancy and failover. Redundant connections between storage servers and switches plus redundant SAS links between switches and disk arrays help ensure high availability throughout the mesh.

SAS switching also enables centralized storage management with localized administration, enabling zone configuration for improved resource allocation, load balancing, and selective access.

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