Connect Your Drives to a SAS Controller with SFF-8088 Mini SAS Cables
If your RAID setup requires Mini SAS for connections to controllers and drives, then SFF-8088 is an option. These cables come in a wide range of lengths as well as various colors for convenient color coding.What are male SFF-8088 cables?
SFF-8088 is a connection type used for Mini SAS and provides a multi-lane connection. SAS is Serial Attached SCSI and provides the means to combine physical drives into logical arrays. Mini SAS is simply a smaller form factor for the physical connection and often used when daisy-chaining. These have a male end for insertion into female ports on both drives and controllers.Do these Mini-SAS cables support all SAS versions?
SFF-8088 and Mini SAS are compliant with all versions because all versions are backward- and forward-compatible. All connections are limited by the slowest version supported. However, SFF-8088 cables can be rated at various bandwidths.What bandwidths are SFF-8088 cables rated?
You want an SFF-8088 solution rated at:
- 3 Gbit/s a second for SAS-1
- 6 Gbit/s a second for SAS-2
- 12 Gbit/s a second for SAS-3
- 22.5 Gbit/s a second for SAS-4
SFF-8088 is appropriate for both SAS and Mini SAS. The only difference here is the connector, which has smaller dimensions and is more convenient for compact arrangements. The connector doesn’t change the underlying technology. However, a standard cable won’t fit if you have just ports for Mini SAS, in which case you’d need an adapter or a cable with an adapter built in. Support for SATA devices is an optional aspect of SAS, and whether or not you can support SATA with these products depends entirely on your SAS controller. Most drives offer either a SAS or SATA interface, but some may provide both. There are also adapter cables available that have a connector for Mini SAS on one end and SATA on the other.Are these Mini-SAS cables for internal or external use?
These cables are primarily used for external purposes, such as connecting to a drive in a rack, but can be used for either internal purposes, such as connecting to an internal drive. Generally, manufacturers make these cables and connectors specifically for one application or the other. Both types still conform to the SFF-8088 specification and Mini SAS and SAS in general, but a heavy-duty approach is taken with external Mini SAS, whereas the internal cables and connectors tend to be lighter and more compact.