Just as city buses carry people from one place to another, data buses transport digital information between computing devices. These advanced computing devices combine the functionality of both software and hardware to provide faster communications between the central processing unit (CPU) and storage devices and peripherals. Modern computing systems and servers use a variety of data buses to facilitate communications and ensure connectivity between peripheral devices and the processing units in corporate network and personal computing systems.
Universal Serial Bus (USB) connections are among the most common and popular forms of data buses currently in use. USB connectors are available in three primary physical types:
• Standard – Used primarily to connect devices to a personal computer, standard USB connections are designed to be highly robust and to stand up to considerable wear and tear.
• Mini – Originally created to provide added access for tablet computers and other small-scale peripheral devices, mini connectors provide a streamlined way to create data links between the CPU and its accessories and storage units.
• Micro—Micro USB connections are generally used to charge and to manage data transfers for mobile phones.
Additionally, USB connectors are available in A and B types:
• A-type USB connectors are generally used for connecting disk drives, keyboards and other items that require two-way communication and power flows to perform properly.
• B-type USB connectors are preferred for printers and other items that generally receive data from the CPU rather than transmitting data to it; some B-type connectors only transmit power to the peripheral device.
Since November 2008, USB 3.0 has been an accepted industry standard for most high-speed connection needs.
Another high-speed option for connecting computers, storage devices and peripherals is the Small Computer System Interface, or SCSI. Most modern server systems use an advanced form of this interface in conjunction with RAID controllers to provide backup and redundancy solutions for data stored in the server array. A technology known as Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) allows multiple storage devices to be treated as one logical unit within the server environment. Small business SAS switches can even provide access to corporate storage from multiple servers, making it easier to manage ongoing tasks and create workable solutions for a variety of end users. Switched SAS storage delivers maximum flexibility in accessing needed data by sharing access between competing servers in the corporate environment. This can also allow companies to create scalable access for remote users and staff members to ensure the security of valuable corporate data.
When used in connection with RAID controllers and host bus adapters, data buses deliver the best of hardware and software connectivity for users. USB and SAS systems are designed to comply with stringent international standards that ensure interoperability for end users; by incorporating these advanced technological communications devices into the server environment, businesses can increase their server speeds and reduce response times for their staff members and customers.
Sheila learned all about corporate data storage and the companies that facilitate it – companies like lsi.com – through her work providing IT support in the corporate environment. She wants companies to know how valuable their data and storage structures are, and how important it is to find the right hardware and software to protect that data.