Adaptec, Seagate Push SAS

Join forces to spur migration from SCSI to SAS, but users still unsure about the technology

October 25, 2005

3 Min Read
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Storage Networking World -- Seagate Technology and Adaptec teamed up here today in an attempt to spur more migration to serial-attached SCSI (SAS), although some users are still unsure about the technology.

The two vendors have joined forces to bundle Seagates Cheetah 15K.4 SAS drives with Adaptec’s recently launched 48300 host bus adapter in an effort to lure server manufacturers and resellers to the much-vaunted technology.

Seagate and Adaptec join a growing list of vendors touting SAS as a better-performing alternative to parallel SCSI technology. And its compatibility with serial ATA (SATA) -- missing from earlier SCSI gear -- enables users to deploy both types of storage as an alternative to higher-priced Fibre Channel. (See HP Integrates LSI Logic SAS, Input: US Govt to Award $250B IT Deals, and Adaptec Beefs Up SAS .)

Others making SAS announcements at this week's show include JMR Electronics, LSI Logic, and Promise Technology. (See {docink 82937}, JMR Launches Marlin , and LSI Extends SAS Line.) Xyratex also announced a 3U, 16-drive enclosure with native SAS connectivity -- a product enabled in part by Xyratex's purchase of nStor Technologies earlier this year. (See EMC to Resell Decru.)

But even as SAS has been gaining interest, many users seem skeptical about it. (See Adaptec Fleshes Out SAS Line.) ”Education is something that needs to be done,” says Gary Pedersen, network engineer for the city of Plano, Texas and an attendee at SNW. “[SAS] is a buzzword right now -- it’s just new.” That said, Pedersen admits he may consider deploying SAS in the future.But John Lavelle, network administrator at Florida-based organ procurement firm LifeLink, remains unmoved. “Probably not,” he replied when asked whether he would consider SAS. “I am happy with the current generation of SCSI that I have got -- we haven’t had any issues.”

Despite a degree of user skepticism, nearly a third of respondents to this month’s Byte and Switch poll cite SAS’s ability to run in the same box as SCSI as its major selling point, closely followed by its price advantage over Fibre Channel. (See Getting SASsy?)

Seagate admits it is aiming its strategy at firms that want to fiddle with the technology before they deploy it. ”We’re positioning this bundle as a starter kit for customers to experiment with SAS,” says Franco Castaldini, Seagate’s senior product marketing manager. The intention is to show how easy it is to upgrade from SCSI to SAS, he adds.

The bundle, which costs $550 dollars, will be offered on Adaptec’s Website starting November 1, and Castaldini says both firms are pumping plenty of cash into the initiative. “We’re investing a considerable amount of money on marketing this bundle,” he notes. "Between the two companies, it’s over six figures."

This, says the exec, will involve direct marketing to Seagate’s partners, as well as advertising on “a variety of channel-specific” Websites.Both vendors see the technology bundle as a step up to bigger and better things. In January, Seagate and Adaptec will be running marketing programs to convince bundle buyers to buy the products in volume. “We’re going to take another step when these customers have had a chance to test it,” says Castaldini, although he did not reveal any details.

The exec also predicts that, by the end of calendar year 2006, Seagate will ship more SAS devices than SCSI.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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