Enclosure question

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EQNish

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Primer:
I have been running FreeNas on an Old beefed up workstation I had, it's currently running with 16GB (supports 32GB) of ram and an i5, I currently have (15) 1TB Sata Drives installed using 8 on board and 1 LSI 9210-8i. I am looking at adding more drives when I upgrade the capacity but don't really want to do a full upgrade (MoBo, enclosure, ram, cpu...etc).

I really like the idea of external enclosure and was looking at one of the DVD duplicator enclosures (http://a.co/40L54iP)

Question(s):
first has anyone done something like this, what are your thoughts

I use iStarUSA 5x3 3.5in Drive Cages which have a 120mm Fan blowing on the back of the drives (I have had no issue in my current Configuration over the past 5 years) and would likely install 4 of these in the Enclosure giving me 20+ drives
Would I be able to use a 9210-8e to connect to the enclosure, and what kind of "multiplier?" would I need?

Any Other Thoughts?
 

melloa

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Any Other Thoughts?

Just that your electricity cost with 15 x 1TiB + the 20 you want to add might justify upgrade the HDD size instead, but I don't really know the size of the new ones.

I have had no issue in my current Configuration over the past 5 years

I'd not touch that. It's running ... if you disturb the force Darth Vader may strike!
 

danb35

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Would I be able to use a 9210-8e to connect to the enclosure, and what kind of "multiplier?" would I need?
Using a SAS expander, you could likely do this safely, though cabling could still be a little tricky. Something like this, I think, should do the job, as it appears to have its own power connection without needing to be plugged into a PCIe slot. You'd then use something like this to give the external SAS connector, and SAS breakout cables like these to connect to your individual disks.

Edit: Or get a JBOD shelf like this one, which should be plug-and-play with the 9210-8e. Or this one looks like it would do the trick as well, with room for 60 disks.

I'd caution you that this is pretty much theoretical, as I've not actually done this--but I think it should work.
 
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I'm running a server with 2 cases, second case has 12 disks, it's not running FreeNAS but it would work similarly (HP expander was replace after I did this crude image with an Intel expander like the one danb35 linked)
 

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EQNish

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I'm running a server with 2 cases, second case has 12 disks, it's not running FreeNAS but it would work similarly (HP expander was replace after I did this crude image with an Intel expander like the one danb35 linked)

ok, soo if I can...it looks like you go from a LSI 9210-8e (or something similar) with 2 8088 cables? to some form of gender changer, from that to a multiplier card (something like a RES2SV240 ) and then via Breakout cables to the Drives

In that senario , the Cables coming from the gender changer would plug into the RES2SV240 to any port? yous has an external connection, Couldn't you have just used that


sorry if these seem like dumb questions, just what to be sure I have a full understanding
 

EQNish

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Using a SAS expander, you could likely do this safely, though cabling could still be a little tricky. Something like this, I think, should do the job, as it appears to have its own power connection without needing to be plugged into a PCIe slot. You'd then use something like this to give the external SAS connector, and SAS breakout cables like these to connect to your individual disks.

Edit: Or get a JBOD shelf like this one, which should be plug-and-play with the 9210-8e. Or this one looks like it would do the trick as well, with room for 60 disks.

I'd caution you that this is pretty much theoretical, as I've not actually done this--but I think it should work.


I really don't want to use one of those Monster disk shelfs, too much noise, heat, space for what I'm doing
 
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ok, soo if I can...it looks like you go from a LSI 9210-8e (or something similar) with 2 8088 cables? to some form of gender changer, from that to a multiplier card (something like a RES2SV240 ) and then via Breakout cables to the Drives

LSI 9200-8e single linked to the Intel SAS expander (previously dual linked to the HP expander)

In that senario , the Cables coming from the gender changer would plug into the RES2SV240 to any port? yous has an external connection, Couldn't you have just used that

Yes, on both these expanders each port can act as in or out, depending on what's connected there, I could have used the HP external port but I needed 2 ports for dual linking to have enough bandwidth, so instead of the external + one internal I used two internals, since the Intel has twice the bandwidth with SATA disks I'm now only using a single link.
 

EQNish

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OK, just so I think I totally understand, and have a sound design, I used my best MSPAINT skills to mock up a build out. I understand the PC and Drive hardware pretty good at some point I'll be upgrading that hardware but for now I'm working solely on enclosure and drive density for my needs based on enclosures I already own...
FREENAS.jpg
 
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Stux

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I think that will work. I'm unsure if the Sata line length limits are the total length or just to the expander.
 
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It will work, cable length is not a problem, since there's an active expander, my external SAS cable is 2 meters (6 feet) + 0.5 meters for the internal SAS cable , from the expander to disks you need to respect max SATA cable length, 1 meter.
 

Ericloewe

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I think that will work. I'm unsure if the Sata line length limits are the total length or just to the expander.
SAS uses higher signalling voltages, since it's designed for "long" runs outside of a chassis. The only actual SATA physical link is between expander and drive.
 

cella400

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OK, just so I think I totally understand, and have a sound design, I used my best MSPAINT skills to mock up a build out. I understand the PC and Drive hardware pretty good at some point I'll be upgrading that hardware but for now I'm working solely on enclosure and drive density for my needs based on enclosures I already own...
View attachment 18511

EQNish...how did this project turn out? I would love to hear an update.
 

picklefish

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This is a really helpful post. I have 2 Fractal Design Node 804 MicroATX Mid Tower sitting next to each other. One with FreeNAS and one running a windows server. I'd like to either use the right side of my windows box (no harddrives) or buy a cheap used rack off ebay. This helped me understand how you attached SAS expanders.

One question is what do you plug the card in the expander into?
 

Stux

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The expander is connected to the HBA via one or two of its ports. 1->5 fan out, or 2->4 fan out. In this case Expander -> JBOD external adapter -> external cable -> main case external adapter -> to internal hba

Physically they plug into a PCIe slot but they don't *need* to plugin to a PCIe slot, that's just a convenient way to position them, and provide power. You might notice that the Intel RES2SV240 has both a Peripheral Molex connector on it, and mounting holes. If you wanted to you can power the expander via that molex plug, and mount it anywhere in the case you want, perhaps with velcro ;)
 
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