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Capacity, speed, reliability - Selecting the appropriate hard disks for your servers

As software continues to evolve and businesses grow, so does the amount of data that needs to be stored reliably and with high availability. To meet these challenges cost-effectively and with the necessary data security, the data storage of the IT systems used often has to fulfil different requirements depending on the area of application. The choice of hard disks is crucial, as the models available vary greatly in terms of technical structure and performance, as well as connectivity and management options.

SATA, SAS and NVMe - Different connections to suit all requirements

Different connection standards are available for attaching hard drives to servers, storage systems and workstations, depending on the configuration and generation of the device:

  • SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment)
  • SAS (Serial Attached SCSI)
  • NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express)

The older SATA connection is widely used and offers high compatibility with almost any motherboard, with transfer speeds of up to 6 Gbit/s. Because servers can often be used in basic configurations and drives are available at low prices, SATA hard drives are often a cost-effective solution for less complex applications with lower storage performance requirements.

The newer SAS standard is also supported by many server solutions and, in its third generation, offers a higher transfer rate of up to 12 Gbit/s as well as advanced drive management features. The latest generation, SAS-4 (24G), has further increased performance by doubling the achievable data rate. This makes SAS hard drives suitable as high-performance storage solutions, although they are usually significantly more expensive and can only be used in server systems with compatible RAID controllers and backplane boards.

The NVMe protocol is the latest and fastest connection for hard disks, offering the highest transfer speeds and, with the PCIe connection (PCI Express), can fully utilise the potential of high-performance SSD hard drives. Depending on the generation of the standard, the drives support the U.2 or U.3 connector variants for connection in servers and storage solutions; in workstations, the M.2 slot on the motherboard can often be used for space-saving installation of compact and fast NVMe SSDs. However, due to processor and chipset requirements, the latest standard is often not supported by older server generations.

HDD and SSD hard drives - Storage technology makes the difference

Depending on the performance requirements, two different storage technologies can be used to provide the necessary storage capacity: HDDs and SSDs. 

Traditional HDDs (Hard Disk Drive) use magnetic data storage and have a complex technical structure of spinning platters and mechanical units for writing and reading data. They often offer high capacity and are suitable for long-term storage and archiving. However, their design limits the achievable access speeds and they are susceptible to external influences such as shock and vibration. HDDs are available for both SATA and SAS systems, and also differ in terms of the rotational speed of the platters, which has a significant impact on the potential performance of the drive.

The more modern and capable SSDs (Solid State Drive), on the other hand, are based on flash memory and have no moving parts inside, which has several advantages. They use chips to store data, allowing very fast read and write speeds, and are less sensitive to external influences. However, SSDs are much more expensive than HDDs and the memory cells are subject to wear and tear during operation. They cannot be rewritten indefinitely, which means that SSDs have a limited lifespan. As with conventional hard drives, SSD models are available for the different connection standards SATA and SAS, which means they can be used in a versatile way in older server systems. SSDs are also available with support for the NVMe protocol, which provides excellent transfer speeds for operating large databases or virtualised environments due to the high performance of the interface and the drive.

Hard disks in different form factors require the matching accessories

Hard drives in two common form factors are used to provide capacity for servers and storage systems. 2.5” SFF (Small Form Factor) drives are compact in size and allow a high number of hard drives to be installed in a server chassis in a space-saving and efficient way. As a result, they are often ideal for providing high-performance data storage in both rack and blade systems. There are also 3.5” LFF (Large Form Factor) drives, which often offer higher capacity but take up more space in the server or storage chassis and tend to consume more power. As a result, they are being used less frequently in newer generations of machines than SFF hard drives, which offer many advantages in a direct comparison. The increasing use of SSD drives also supports this trend, as they take up less space due to more advanced technology and are usually available in 2.5" format.

With server solutions from renowned manufacturers such as HPE, Dell, Lenovo and Fujitsu, various accessories make it easier to configure the data storage to meet the requirements of the application. For example, trays are available for the various models and generations, allowing hard drives to be installed in the chassis vibration-free and quickly replaced in the event of a failure. Optional drive cages are used to increase the number of bays in the required format when high scalability of storage capacity is required for the application. It is also possible to install 2.5" drives in the larger LFF carriers and chassis using the appropriate converters and adapters, providing a high degree of flexibility in hard drive installation.

Refurbished hard disks and accessories in stock at affordable prices - ServerShop24

Especially in times of limited availability and rising new prices, the implementation of used IT hardware is often an optimal alternative to new products that can fully meet your requirements in many areas. With carefully checked used hard disks from our online shop, you have an attractive opportunity to provide cost-effective and reliable storage solutions for your application with an excellent price-performance ratio. At the same time, the sustainable reuse of perfectly functioning products reduces the global consumption of resources and the environmental impact of the energy-intensive production of new hardware.
Since 2010, we have been your reliable partner for professionally refurbished used servers, storage systems and network equipment. In addition to pre-configured, ready-to-ship systems from leading brands, we also have an extensive stock of used components and spare parts for your servers. Fast shipping from our warehouse and multiple shipping options mean short delivery times, allowing you to expand your IT infrastructure and carry out necessary repairs both cost-effectively and promptly. Our experienced and friendly support team is available to answer any questions you may have about our products and your order. Contact us by phone, email, live chat or via our ticket system - we will take care of your request!