The iSeries Blog

Jul 10 2008   7:29AM GMT

Lack of SATA drive support a good thing?

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

As if often the case, digging into the comments of blogs online can often be more interesting than the posts themselves. Take this example from Maxed Out, the System i Network blog by Chris Maxcer.

The blog itself isn’t bad — Maxcer quotes Clabby Analytics analyst Joe Clabby as basically saying that mainframe technology is still bleeding down into lower platforms, and the Power Systems group is and will continue to be a beneficiary to that. One of Clabby’s points is that the mainframe has been doing virtualization for decades.

The first comment, then, questions whether x86 virtualization with VMware has now exceeded virtualization on Power, as VMware supports virtualized SATA drives while IBM i on BladeCenter does not. “Has x86 virtualization software now exceeded what IBM offers?” the comment asks.

Oh, but I say nay nay, another commenter writes:

Any limitations on the use of SATA drives with i are intentional. The “read me first” document for planning storage virtualization with IBM i strongly recommends the use of Fibre Channel physical drives due to the performance and reliability requirments of production workloads. SATA drives have a reputation for being, relatively speaking, slow and less reliable. Rather than let the lure of cheap disks become a substitute for good capacity planning, IBM has chosen not to support SATA drives for i on blades … at least for the time being.

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