Wherefore Art Thou, 2.5” Enterprise Drives?

Continuing with the somewhat “green” theme of the last several blog entries here, I wanted to loft the next softball into play: 2.5″ Enterprise drives. Seagate makes them, Hitachi makes them,and Fujitsu makes them. They’re available in SAS, Fibre, and SATA and feature 7.2K, 10K, and 15K spindle speeds. They consume less than half the power of conventional 3.5″ drives and they run cooler. Access times are cut down based on the platter sizes and density, and, best of all, you can rack far more spindles in an array than 3.5″ drives. The obvious limiting factor on these drives currently is platter density and currently shipping drives have, at last count, only hit 250GB with 320GB coming shortly. Additionally, most of these drives are forsaking the older SCSI and Fibre SCA connectors for SATA/SAS unified power/data connectors. Obviously, this version of SCA, while a little more fragile than the old, does make hot-swapping, etc. easier.

Anyhow, if I can manage to find funding for a small little project, I’d love to prove what these drives promise, namely:

a.) Decreased power usage

b.) Greater I/O per Unit of rackspace

c.) Reduced access time

d.) Comparable I/O to 3.5” form factor drives

e.) Reliability on par with 3.5” form factor drives

Anyone want to fund me? I’ll document the entire process and provide benchmarks, etc. for the taking.

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