Drive and Interface Technologies for IBM System x Servers

An IBM Redpaper publication


Ensuring that business-critical data is available when needed is an ever-growing need in IT. Your systems must store massive amounts of data quickly and retrieve it efficiently. At the same time, choosing the best storage technology for application data can be a complex task, because you must ensure that business requirements are met, yet contain costs under tight budget limits. Storage performance capabilities need to match the processing capabilities of the server to ensure the most efficient use of system resources. There is no “one size fits all” approach possible because different applications have different storage data access patterns.

The choice of drives for server internal storage is broad. Therefore, this requires you to consider several factors, including connectivity interfaces, such as Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) or serial-attached SCSI (SAS); the speed of these interfaces; types of drives: hard disks, solid-state storage, or hybrid drives; rotational speeds; choice of desktop versus nearline versus enterprise drives for hard disk drives (HDDs); enterprise versus enterprise value for solid-state drives (SSDs); form-factors; and so on. So how do you choose the most appropriate drive type?

This IBM® Redpaper™ publication describes currently available internal and external direct-attach storage (DAS) interfaces and drive types that are available for IBM System x® servers and provides suggestions on how to choose the best options for business needs and application requirements.

Table of contents

Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA)
Serial-attached SCSI (SAS)
Hard disk drives
IBM Flash internal storage
Hybrid hard disk drives
Self-encrypting drives
Storage tiering
SSD caching
Storage performance considerations
Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID)
Drive selection guidelines


Publish Date
21 February 2014

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