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Switching from SATA to SAS hard drives in D20

Question

I have a question about the ThinkStation D20 and SAS hard drives.

 

We have a D20 here at work that came installed with SATA hard drives.  We are interested in removing the SATA drives and replacing them with SAS drives.  We would like to use the onboard RAID controller to create a RAID1 volume to act as the system disk using the SAS drives (have already test successfully with SATA drives).

 

Are their any requirements that must be met in order to replace SATA hard drives with SAS hard drives in the D20?  I heard from someone that you cannot switch from SATA to SAS drives.  You have to request that the machine be setup with SAS drives upon purchase.  Is this true?  Lastly, can I use 2.5" drives?

 

Any information on switching drives is greatly appreciated.

Answer

In D20, the SATA and SAS controller are handled via the same chip, so it's simply a matter of installing the drives with the correct cables. If your system didn't already come with them, you'll need SAS cables for each drive you intend to use.   the FRU number from IBM is 41R5513.   you can purchase these directly through Lenovo or from various vendors online.

 

Technically, 2.5" SAS drives are not supported on D20.  They will likely work OK for the most part, but just keep in mind it's not something that's been officially qualified, so there is a chance you can run into some random bugs.

 

If you are still planning to use 2.5" SAS drives then you'll need 3.5" to 2.5" adapters - the part number for these is 41R5625

 

What is the performance difference between a 2.5" SAS drive and a 3.5" SATA?  Generally speaking, they're so close in speed that you'd never notice a difference in a desktop environment.   Having compared a 3.5" 300GB 15K RPM drives against a 2.5" 73.4GB 15K RPM drive, the only differences I could find were in acoustics and power requirements.  The 2.5" drive (a seagate savvio 15K.1) uses less than half the power of two 3.5" drives (seagate cheetah 15K.5).

 

If you're trying to decide between one or the other, datasheets are your best bet.

http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/enterpri​se

http://www.hitachigst.com/internal-drives/enterpri​se/

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