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Fujitsu Looks Ahead with Faster Drives - InternetNews.
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Fujitsu Looks Ahead with Faster Drives

Fujitsu Computer Products of America (FCPA) Monday announced its latest hard drive interface that runs at 3 gigabytes per second.

The division of Japan's Fujitsu that makes data storage drives and computer peripherals said the new technology is currently being tested by Hewlett Packard .

Small form factor serial-attached SCSI drives are the next generation enterprise hard disk drives, according to the company. The technology is being created for storage markets that can take advantage of higher performance, higher capacity and smaller footprint hard disk drives.

Similar to the logic of employing thin blade servers to power computing resources, the idea for smaller form factor disk drives is rooted in the ongoing trend to conserve space, power and costs in a data center to whittle down IT costs. The trick is to make them smaller, while at the same time ensuring that the drives can handle enterprise-class loads of data.

The 2.5 inch Fujitsu drive, based on the speedy serial attached SCSI (SAS) mode of data transfer, is about one-third smaller than its 3.5-inch brother, and should conserve space, power and cost for customers looking for improvements to enterprise-level hard drive storage, according to Joel Hagberg, vice president of OEM Sales and Marketing at San Jose, Calif.-based FCPA.

Hagberg said Fujitsu's 2.5-inch drive would offer up to 73.5 gigabytes of storage coupled with a SAS interface capable of a 300 megabyte data transfer rate at a full 3Gb per second. HP will test its viability with its HP ProLiant server and storage customers

Serial technology-based products are broadly replacing their parallel brethren for a number of reasons, including cost, performance and speed. The Fujitsu SAS interface leverages SCSI with the latest serial technology. Hagberg told internetnews.com Fujitsu expects SAS to become the enterprise input/output interface of choice for the new 2.5 inch hard disk drives.

In addition to the size benefits, said IDC analyst Dave Reinsel said arrays employing 2.5-inch drives can use more drives, lower acoustics and will consume less power than 3.5-inch drives.

"This could potentially cut in half the amount of square feet necessary for processing power that we use today," Reinsel told internetnews.com, noting that vendors could them move from 2U racks to 1U racks in a data center. He also said the additional spindles will boost I/O potential and noted that transitioning from a parallel architecture to SAS will provide a roadmap to the future with respect to faster data rates.

Technically FCPA's 2.5-inch drive interface is the first of its kind, Reinsel told internetnews.com, although competitors Seagate, Maxtor and Hitachi are hot on Fujitsu's heels.

"There is a very aggressive race going on to make sure that these suppliers of enterprise-class drives are at or near the forefront of offering a 2.5 inch SAS products," Reinsel concluded.