Storage capacity refers to the available disk space on the storage device. Unlike computer systems, servers provide a large storage capacity to meet your business requirements as they offer multiple drive bays to connect hard drives of different types and capacities. Based on factors like operating system, database, email, website, control panel, security, applications, etc., the hard drive size of a server is determined. For example, a total hard drive size of 25 GB is required for a website with 100 email accounts that require a space of 250 MB. You can choose the specific storage server according to the data storage demands.
What Are The Storage Capacity Used For Servers?
There are different storage types available for servers, like Hard Disk Drives (HDDs), Solid State Drives (SSD), Serial ATA (SATA), Network Attached Storage (NAS), Storage Area Network (SAN), Direct Attached Storage (DAS), Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), etc. But, it isn’t easy to choose the best one for specific business functions. The below-mentioned guidelines will be helpful to determine the best storage option for different business operations.
Hard Disk Drive:
The Hard Disk Drive of a server can be used to store all data and applications reliably. It is a data storage device that allows data storage on the disks magnetically. The HDDs are practical for data that means no need to access frequently, such as data backup of videos, photos, or business files.
Serial ATA (SATA) drives:
SATA drives are the new standard for low-end servers that provide improved transfer rates of up to 3 Gbps. A dedicated channel includes each SATA drive to the controller rather than a shared bus. The server storage performance will be improved using this design as the drives are not competing over the same communication channel. You will experience a higher degree of failure when using the workstation-rated SATA on a server. So, an 80 to 90% duty cycle is the best fit for servers.
Solid State Drives (SSDs):
SSDs or solid-state drives store all data in integrated circuits. The difference between HDDs and SSDs is in size and performance. The SSD capacities would be varied based on how much data they can hold and make them flexible for devices like convertibles, laptops, etc. SSDs work faster and reduce the access time. However, the costs of SSDs are higher than HDDs.
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS):
SAS drives include the transfer rate of 3 Gbps that are designed to be used for high-end servers. A dedicated communication channel is provided instead of shared-bus contention for each drive like SATA. The storage capacities are up to 146GB and 300GB for 2.5’’ and 3.5’’ drives, respectively. These drives can be effectively used to create a disk array with high performance.
Server Storage Designs:
You need to decide where the storage drives are to be installed after choosing the appropriate drive type. The storage designs are Storage Area Network (SAN), Network Attached Storage (NAS), locally attached storage, or disk subsystem.
Locally attached storage:
The locally attached storage installs directly on the server or is connected to the external storage device through a SCSI cable. If your business doesn’t need higher availability, locally attached storage is the best option.
NAS devices can have the ability to hold multiple HDDs with one or more built-in Ethernet network cards. They can handle the files but don’t have the capabilities to perform the other server functions, like database, email, DHCP, or DNS. NAS devices are ideal for applications that need to be available continuously but not accessed frequently.
DAS is another type of storage that directly attaches to the server without any network. Direct-attached storage doesn’t have connections through the Fibre Channel (FC) or Ethernet switches like the NAS or SAN. An external DAS connects to the server or computer via an interface, such as SAS, SATA, or SCSI.
DAS provides better performance than networked storage as it doesn’t have network connections to read or write data. It is less complex and easier to maintain and implement than network-based storage systems.
SANs are related to the high-end server storage options that come in two different types: Fibre and iSCSI channel. The significant advantage of SANs is the shared storage, which allows accessing the data by more than one server. Typically, SANs are used in high-availability applications, like VMware’s ESX server or Microsoft Cluster Server with VMware High Availability.
You can quickly sort out the storage choices based on the application requirements, high availability, fault tolerance, and disk performance. You will go with a SAN when you need the server availability. If you don’t have restrictions on availability, you can opt for locally attached storage or DAS.
There are different storage options available for your servers choose the specific one as per your business needs and storage demands.