July 2014

STB Suite | The Industry Standard in Peripheral Testing.

In this Issue:

   

16 Bay 2.5″ SAS/SATA HDD Testing Enclosure Review


This is a review of the PC-PitStop 16-bay 2.5: SAS/SATA Table-top drive enclosure

As the name suggests this is a stand-alone disk drive enclosure which can house up to 16 2.5” SAS or SATA disk drives.

Connections

This enclosure does not have a SAS expander. Instead, each group of four drives connects directly to your HBA via a four-port SFF-8088 mini-SAS connector. The connections and internal backplanes are rated to 6Gb/s. Of course you will need the appropriate cables to match these four-port connectors to the four-port connectors on your HBA.

Cables of various configurations and lengths are also available from PC PitStop.

This arrangement allows each individual drive to connect to its own SAS port on the test systems HBA, which permits each drive to run at its full rated transfer rate.

The downside of this type of enclosure is that you will need either two SAS 8 port HBAs (such as the LSI SAS 9300-8E) or a 16-port SAS HBA (such as the LSI SAS 9300-16E).

On the other hand, the upside is the cost of the enclosure is much less than one with an expander, and the one-drive-to-one-HBA-port arrangement usually provides the highest speed performance while testing.

Drive Trays

This enclosure uses flat drive trays to secure the drives. In our testing we found it a quick procedure to work with. Simply lay the drive down on your work surface, mounting holes up. Place the tray over the drive, lining up the holes, and secure. In our testing we found securing with two screws (oriented diagonally) was fine.

The trays slide in easily and have a locking lever to do the final connector orientation and seating. In our testing the drives seated solidly with no jiggling needed.

Each tray has LED power and activity indicators.

Read about the Power and Cooling and the rest of the article online here.

Free consulting with the storage testing experts!

Peripheral Testing Consultants

Are you currently testing storage devices? Are you doing engineering type testing? Single drives, compliance type things?

Maybe, getting in returns (RMAs), doing regression or HDD/SSD burn-in testing?

Possibly you’re testing or want to screen/purge hundreds or thousands of drives at a time?

What do you need to thoroughly and accurately test the drives in a repeatable process with results that can be shared with your customers or other companies?

How about exceptions, thresholds, failures and logging?

Let the experts in peripheral testing help you get started or refine the procedures that you’ve been using for years. We’ve added some amazing new tools to the STB Suite in version 9.0 and we’d love to help you with your testing needs.

Let’s start off with a quick phone call or email so we can understand your testing needs.

Use the contact form here or call us up anytime to help get you started!

Ask Dr. SCSI – SAS HBA? I’m testing SATA Drives!

The Real Dr. SCSI

Q. “Why do I have to use a SAS HBA (host bus adapter) to test SATA drives?”

A. There are several reasons. A SAS HBA allows you to…

  1. Test both SATA and SAS drives
  2. Use a disk enclosure which has built-in expander(s), which lets you connect many disk drives at once. Most of these type of enclosures can hold 12-16 drives.
  3. Do SATA-specific things such as Security Erase, retrieve/screen on SMART on many drives at once
  4. achieve much higher test throughput because all SAS HBAs have multiple ports. Each SAS port (connected to one or more drives) can run at its highest speed which, which gives you the highest test system aggregate speed. Higher speed equals faster testing equals more drives tested and shipped per day. Which at the end of the month equals a higher bottom line!

A little business math to close with –

Testing more drives at a time and completing tests faster = bottom- line goodness!

Considering getting into HDD/SSD Testing, Purging, and reselling industry?

Have you considered entering the HDD/SSD, recycling, screening, purging, reselling business? Have you thought about what it would take to enter into this lucrative market? You might be surprised it’s not as complicated as you might think.

Before you jump in with both feet, think through your process. What it will take to be successful and how you are going to repeat the process to ensure consistent results. We’ve heard the term “dust and trust” and although it seems comical this isn’t the best method for ensuring quality assurance and customer satisfaction.

  • You want:
    • repeatable procedures,
    • documentation,
    • detailed logging,
    • and traceability for what you’re trying to accomplish.

Your potential customers will be happy if they get consistent product quality and trust that you’re going to continue to deliver on that. How many bad experiences does it take for you to lose trust in a supplier?

With the STB Suite’s DMM you can screen anywhere from dozens to hundreds of drives at a time!

Read about the other benefits to HDD/SSD, testing, purging and reselling and how you can accomplish this with the 20+ year veteran and Industry Standard for Peripheral Testing in your corner!

New training video – SECURITY ERASE using STB Suite’s DMM

We’ve added a new video to our online Virtual Training Center that will show you how to use the SATA SECURE/SECURITY ERASE external executable via the Disk Manufacturing & Screening Module (DMM). By following this tutorial you will be able to perform multiple SATA SECURE ERASE procedures to all of the HDD or SSD’s attached to your host system.

Click the Screenshot to view the video directly, or here to view all the videos in the Virtual Training Center.

What is Performa?

Performa is the STB Suite annual support and maintenance plan.

In most cases each purchase of the STB Suite includes 12 months of Performa coverage.

What does that coverage include?

  • Updates to the STB Suite
    • There are typically two major updates to the STB Suite per year. In between these major updates there are typically a number of maintenance updates which will be used to fix bugs and occasionally introduce new features. For example, between the 8.6 update and the recent 8.7 update there were 6 maintenance updates released.

      With Performa coverage you are entitled to all of these. Don’t forget STB v9.0 has just been released! 

  • Product Support
    • Performa coverage provides you with contact with our development team, to answer questions, discuss changes or improvements, etc. With decades of storage experience our support team is willing and able to help you.

      Our World-class support typically responds to email support issues within one hour!

  • New License discounts – New Feature
    • SCSI Toolbox now offers attractive discounts on new licenses when you keep your licenses covered by the Performa program.
      • 1-3 licenses actively covered you’ll receive an additional* 10% Performa Discount on New licenses.
      • 4-10 licenses actively covered you’ll receive an additional* 15% Performa Discount on New licenses.
      • 11-20 licenses actively covered you’ll receive an additional* 20% Performa Discount on New licenses.
    • *Online Credit Card purchases receive 5% discount automatically. Need to buy new licenses? Contact sales to receive your Performa discount/voucher code to use online NOW!
  • How to keep Performa Active
    • Every time you renew your Performa coverage you need to update your USB key (license). This is a simple process whereby your key is updated to reflect your new Performa expiration date. Once your key has been updated you will be able to run any new STB Suite versions that are released while you are covered.

      Instructions for the key update process are emailed with your Performa renewal.

      If you have any questions about your licenses, Performa, need a quote or just want to talk, please contact Jeremy Wolfe in Sales at STB.