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After qualifying its Serial Attached SCSI hard disk drives with partners for several months, Maxtor Corp. said this week that it had established commercial supplies of its new Atlas lineup of hard drives designed for servers to customers.

“We currently have Atlas SAS drives in qualification with global OEMs and system vendors. We expect those customers to complete testing soon, followed by volume shipments. The Atlas SAS drives, coupled with our MaXLine SATA drives, combine to give Maxtor the industry’s broadest SAS/SATA enterprise drive portfolio,” said Brendan Collins, vice president of marketing, core products at Maxtor.

The Atlas 15K II SAS drive features capacities of 36, 73 and 147GB and a 15 000rpm rotational speed. The drive offers a maximum sustained transfer rate of 98MB/s and average seek times as fast as 3.0ms. The drive is claimed to be the fastest in the world, according to the media.

The Atlas 10K V SAS drive features capacities of 73, 147 and 300GB and a 10 000rpm rotational speed. The drive offers a maximum sustained transfer rate of 89MB/sec and average seek times as fast as 4.0ms. Both the Atlas 15K II and Atlas 10K V drives include a 16MB cache and are designed to the specification of 1.4 million hours MTTF.

SAS is the next generation of the SCSI interface, developed to improve storage system performance, scalability, and availability and extend the capabilities of today’s parallel SCSI disk drives. One of the most significant benefits of SAS technology is that the SAS system architecture allows 10 000rpm and 15 000rpm drives to be integrated with Serial ATA (SATA) drives in the same enclosure. This capability, which Maxtor calls Serial in a Box, provides flexibility and scalability. SAS enclosures can serve as universal building blocks for constructing a data center’s storage infrastructure to meet nearline, midline, and online data requirements.

SAS supports transfer rate of up to 300Mb/s and multiple capabilities required in the enterprise world, such as hot plug capability. SAS drives also feature two data connectors to provide two data ports to the HDD.

Hitachi GST is also currently shipping its Serial Attached SCSI hard disk drives.

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