Saturday, August 05, 2006

FACEOFF : Is SATA faster than USB2 for SBS Backups?

Ever wonder if using SATA hard drive enclosures instead of USB2 hard drive enclosures for external backups was worth the extra expense? So have I. A problem with a client's server backup of SBS prompted this FACE-OFF. Mind you, this is not a scientific experiment, just a rough test.

Setup : I utilized a combo exclosure from AMS called Venus (DS-2316SU2SBK). This one supports USB2 and SATA external interfaces and accepts a SATA drive up to 500 Gigs. I inserted a 250 Gig WDC hard drive into the enclosure. The tested server had a Asus P4P800 motherboard, 2.4 Gig Intel P4 processor, and a SIIG SATA Raid controller based on their 3112 chipset.

Results : I ran the standard SBS backup configurated by the SBS Backup Wizard. 55 Gigs in 100 minutes for SATA, 129 minutes for USB2. USB2 backup took 29% longer than the SATA backup. Here are the details for the USB test and the SATA test.

Conclusions : 1) SATA is far faster at the Verify function than USB2, twice as fast! 2) SATA does give some speed increase during backup of data 3) Your milage may vary, but SATA generally will give you faster performance.

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