Author Topic: Need Advice on best way to expand SATA ports  (Read 2162 times)

Offline fstr

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Need Advice on best way to expand SATA ports
« on: May 01, 2013, 10:22:52 am »
As title says - need advice  8) below are the facts....

I'm rebuilding my server from WHSv1 to WHS2011. My inital build of WHSv1 was going strong (and slow) since about 08/09.
I dont really want to (read cant) spend much money and so will not go with a complete revamp.

The server is used for backups, storing important docs, photos and videos, and central music and DVD/BR rip server.

Current hardware:
Intel Core2Duo E5200, 4GB, Asus P5Q-EM.
Case: 8x3.5", 3x5.25"

Drives consist of:
1x3TB DRU1
1x3TB DRU2
1x2TB DRU3

That makes 5 drives and one ODD to fill up the 6 SATA ports. I am left with about 1.5 TB free space. I also need to still add a drive for OS backup. Maybe I can do this with USB2 external drive?
On WHSv1 I had a PCI SATA card attached. I would prefer not to use this card as it is slooooooooow.

As you can see I have a bit of time to figure out future expansion. I can think of the following options:

A: Replace DRU3 with 3TB drive
Cost: ~$100
Cons: Limited 2.5TB growth (9TB max)

B: Install PCI SATA card back and hook up ODD only
Cost: $0
Cons: Limited one more drive (12TB max if 3TB each)

C: Add IBM M1015 or equivalent card
Cost: ~$100-120 (incl cables)
Cons: None (will run out of drive bays way before maxing out drives)

D: Add 2 port SATA PCIe expansion card
Cost: ~$15
Cons: Could run out at some point...mobo have 3 PCIe slots..but may want to use one for Intel NIC

E: Swop out hardware: Buy new CPU for one of my htpc's and new mobo for workstation. Then use Asus P8P67 PRO from workstation and G620 from HTPC for server.
Cost: ~$250 (including memory)
Pros: P8P67 PRO have 8 internal SATA and 2 eSATA and Intel NIC. Lower power and newer hardware. USB3 for external
Cons: Only 2 additional SATA ports. No graphics on board (minor)

Obvioulsy at some point I would need to upgrade hardware. But the cost of entry is higher than I really want to go with right now. I also have another core2duo cpu & mobo laying around so I don't need to worry about current hardware crapping out on me.
The M1015 is appealing but is about 50% of the cost of new hardware...
I can also mix and match options (e.g. B + D - would net 3 SATA ports for ~$15)
Worth mentioning - I have a bunch of 1TB, 1.5TB and 2TB drives. So while I can go and buy 3TB drives to maximize the TB per SATA, I would rather use what I have.
And last factiod: I do backups to external drives that I store in a fireproof lockbox. Thus I need (ultimately) better external connectivity than USB2.