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Issue of April 2003 
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Serial SCSI-ATA Drives Mix

The serial SCSI interface technology that's due to start being built into disk drives this year is compatible with the serial Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) interface used in low-end drives. This compatibility will enable the development of hybrid storage arrays. These will allow users to mix and match high-performance SCSI drives for use in transaction processing applications with lower-cost Serial ATA devices for data backup and recovery procedures. The two disk-drive technologies can also be plugged into a single backplane within servers. IDC analyst Robert Grey said the ability to mix serial SCSI and ATA drives in servers and arrays has the potential to lower TCO for corporate users while also letting them customize storage setup to meet their needs.

If systems are designed with Serial ATA drives but include disk controllers that can also support serial SCSI, adding the higher-performance drives "is a simple, seamless upgrade," Grey said. "Users can make a move to a more robust drive in terms of availability and performance if they want to."

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