[nycbug-talk] cheap way to add drives to a 1U?

Charles Sprickman spork at bway.net
Wed Oct 28 23:15:36 EDT 2009

On Wed, 28 Oct 2009, Pete Wright wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 07:08:45PM -0400, Charles Sprickman wrote:
>> Any ideas?
>> I've got a 1U server available that has two SATA drive bays.  I need at
>> least four drives...
>> Any cheap way to bundle 2-4 drives in some kind of external case and bring
>> them back via eSATA or an SATA multilane cable?
> hey charles - i've used these guys in the past to build some relativly
> cheap fast storage for some video playback systems:
> http://www.pc-pitstop.com/sata_enclosures/

Wow.  One-stop shopping.  This seems like a decent enough deal:


Their drive prices are really good, actually a bit lower than NewEgg on 
the WD RE3s.

> they have a 1U 4 disk external controller, as well as "shoebox" systems
> depending on what form factor suits you.  we also used the Internal SATA
> to External adapters which worked pretty well.  The cables are actually
> compatible with infiBand - so if you got an IB system laying around you
> are all set :)

At this particular place we have nothing useful laying around.  Lots of 
things that catch your eye at first, but on closer examination it's all 
useless junk and/or requires more money to work than a new widget that 
surpasses the old widget in some major way.

>> I'm also on the fence about hw vs. sw RAID for this one.  In the past I've
>> noticed many folks running ZFS over a bunch of SATA drives tend to use a
>> decent HW RAID controller since historically some of the cheap 4+ port
>> add-on SATA cards are either buggy or not well supported.  If anyone has
>> input there regarding FBSD 8.0, that would be welcome...
> i've been a fan of building raidz pools using ZFS lately.  except for
> super high performance workloads it works quite well and you can config
> it to have double parity drives in your pool plus hot spares.
> sun just released a patch to solaris 10 that allows you to drop in SSD
> drives into your zpool config which can be used as caches which
> in theory should give similar benefits of RAID controllers with BBU's.
> but thats solaris not in fbsd yet...soon hopefully though :)

What host adapters are you using on the FBSD boxes?  Some time ago I was 
cautioned against basically all Highpoint and SIIS cards on -stable.  It's 
pretty slim pickings once you take those brands out of the mix.



> -p

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