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kopuz

Seeking education for External Drive Bay with UNRAID server

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Hey All,

 

I currently have an Intel S2600CP for my UNRAID build with 15 HHD plus another 6 SSD.  Im starting to get some SMART warnings on some of my drives health.  I have all of this enclosed in a single 4U Rosewell chassis that is NOT Hot Swapable on the drives and Im terrified of the labor involved in replacing a drive when one eventually fails.  I want to upgrade to an external bay for all HHD that is of course hot swapable.  Here is where Im seeking that education from the community here.  Thank you in advance btw.

 

What is the best way to achieve this?  My research has me thinking along the lines of a Xyratex SAS array bay and purchasing an external facing PCIE SAS controller.  Would this be supported by UNRAID OS?  Looks like I could do this pretty cheap, especially since Gen1 SAS or 3Gbps controller would be plenty fast for my home lab UNRAID needs.  Is my research off in anyway so far with what I described?  If so would I get more performance at all getting multiple SAS controllers and using multiple PCIe lanes.  I also intend to add some more drives if I do build this project so was thinking getting maybe 3 x 12 drive bays and 3 controllers to spread the traffic over 3 lanes.  

 

I think with how Im describing my project you pros see my knowledge level with the hardware architecture, so any help suggestion or advise would be greatly appreciated.  Some new terrortory for me and exploration isnt very cheap :)

 

Thanks all!

Edited by kopuz

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4 hours ago, kopuz said:

Looks like I could do this pretty cheap, especially since Gen1 SAS or 3Gbps controller would be plenty fast for my home lab UNRAID needs.

Depends on how many disks you use, each mini SAS1 link will support 1.2GB/s total, double that for SAS2, dual link if supported doubles the bandwidth for both.

 

Also note that some (mostly LSI) SAS1 controllers don't support >2TB disks.

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Thank you for your time on this reply.  Going to look into a Gen2 with dual link for drive size.  I do plan on using eventually the max drives UNRAID supports in the array as well as a number of SSDs I use for VMs and such.

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One option is the Lenovo SA120.  I have one and it works fine with just two caveats:  fan noise and geared more towards SAS drives than SATA drives.

 

It connects via a single four-lane SAS cable (SFF-8088) . . . that will limit speeds to at most 2.4Gb/s, so ~200MB/s per drive will be the limit if all twelve drives are involved.

 

A SAS HBA with external ports can drive that enclosure just fine from unRAID; I usually use a 9207-8E.

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I work with 24 bay hotswap chassis regularly however for for unRAID where I don't find I need them I prefer the Rosewill 15 bay chassis.  By going with single data/power cables it's easier to isolate the problem and without expanders/midplanes there's fewer catastrophic points of failure.  I would recommend just unscrewing the middle fan bracket (I think 4 screws on the sides?) and toss it out if you don't need it for cooling.  It opens up a ton of room in the case and then just pencil in the serial numbers of the drives ontop of the 3 drive racks with the drive number (either 1-5 on each or 1-15 overall).

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2 hours ago, praeses said:

I work with 24 bay hotswap chassis regularly however for for unRAID where I don't find I need them

Hotswap is not just about the ability to pull a drive without powering down, it's about the ability to swap drives without disturbing cabling. One of the biggest issues we see here on the forums is when someone has a drive fail, they knock cables askew for other drives when they replace it. That results in a failed rebuild, possible data loss if not handled correctly, and a huge PITA.

 

I'd call hotswap bays a necessity for any server with more than a handful of drives, only because of the sensitive nature of the very poorly designed SATA connectors.

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