Seagate and LSI teamed up to bring SAS 2.0, 6Gb/s technology to enterprise and prosumer users in late 2009. The Seagate 15K.7 3.5 inch form factor and 15K.2 2.5" drives both showed performance improvements with the new 6G interface. We have already tested both drives on the internal version of the card we are reviewing today, the LSI 9260-8i, and saw large single drive performance increases just by moving to SAS 2.0.
At this time I was unable to find an external drive enclosure that was able to take advantage of new 6G technology. It is going to take the market a couple of months to get these products ready, with availability likely towards the end of Q1 2010.
External SAS enclosures are categorized as Direct Access Storage (DAS) and the technology has now trickled down from enterprise and is a popular way of adding very large disk arrays to professional Audio / Video users. Small companies with a small number of users have found that DAS offers the same disk redundancy features of NAS servers, but offers higher data transfer speeds and in many cases lower costs.
Let's have a look at the specifications of the LSI MegaRAID 9280-8E SAS 2.0 RAID controller.