Fibre Channel Disk Setup?

I was surfing the internet a couple days ago, and came across a Fibre Channel 223gb 15kRPM HDD On EBay, that sold for $39.95. I've heard that these drives can reach speeds of nearly 2GB/s per drive, and most have speeds of 10,000 to 15,000 RPM. I'm wondering why these drives are so cheap, if their specs are so high... is there something I'm missing here?

If all this is true and they're indeed as fast as they say they are (how fast is this compared to a SATA SSD or HDD?), then I'm seriously interested in getting a Fibre Channel system set up on my PC. According to my reading, I'm going to need a PCI-E or PCIX expansion in order to be able to use one, but I've only seen a couple for under $100, and I don't need anything over a single port. One of these will probably be all I'll ever use.

My questions here, if you missed them, are 1 - what performance do Fibre Channel drives offer compared to SSD's or traditional HDD's, 2 - If they offer an improvement over traditional SATA drives, is it worth buying a drive and all the required equipment, and 3 - If so, where can I find a cheap Fibre Channel PCI-E Single Port expansion card to run it off of?

I may be wrong, and maybe I don't even need a PCI-E card for this, and maybe a desktop PC can't even run them at all, but any input would still be appreciated.
6 answers Last reply
More about fibre channel disk setup
  1. Hmm... no response in two days... again...
    I'll add SCSI Drives to this list, too... I've seen parts for them for a little cheaper, and slightly less performance, but not by far. I guess all I'm really asking for here is a total rundown on how to set up either a Fibre Channel or SCSI drive.
    I've mastered everything when it comes to SATA drives, but I'm completely new to the world of high performance HDDs like these. How do the speeds of all the different interfaces compare?
    Any advice for a newb?
  2. Matt,
    look under forum general home build and see my question post: lovesupreme-almost just like yours; paperdoc has an answer.
    but that still leaves what you and I are trying to understand, how can us PC users simply recycle the throwing away of the "super tech"which for pennies on the dollar blows away current consumer tech.
    I have 10, 15000 rpm 450GB FC-HDD which cost me $25. but to make it all work in a PC it would cost over $500.- even with todays used HBA market $$ing. If I had a semester to circuit board the pin out of ata 100 interface and modify the fibre channel output... matt I just bought 2 Intel SSD.(They have all the mainstream consumer supports).
    I'll still be watching for anyone who "jimmy rigs" what we want. I have spent countless hours searching the internet for a way to make it simple but it seems that "super tech" once paid for, used and then thrown away doesnt have a cottage industry to keep it running; out with the old and in with the new. I would love for someone to have a reasonable price for a hotswap backplane and correct interface that works with PC motherboards and software too. Are there any guys out there who can give us a answer as to how to cheaply use those HDD that had once had a suggested retail each of $900. and they were just built in 4/2008. And yet they are easily thrown away because they are obsolete.
    Thats why I bought the SSD.
    still looking for a teacher,
  3. Ah, thanks... I was sure this was dead after about a month of no replies... good thing I've got email notification on for this.

    Yeah, I know what you mean... Just like you, I'm finding massive amounts of FC/SCSI drives for insane prices like $5 on ebay, but there isn't any way to use them other than investing in a $300 controller card and then another $50 for an FC cable. I'm fairly sure that you need some other stuff, too, but I'm not entirely sure what at this point.

    I'm like you in that I'm going with SSD's instead of older enterprise-class tech... I havn't bought one yet, and I'm not sure if I will right now, but it's looking a lot more promising than rigging up a system of HDD's.

    I'll keep watching for a way to do this... I've got a couple hundred dollars set aside for this cause, and if I find a way to get it to work, I'll be sure to put something up here on Tom's hardware right away.
  4. I'm also in the same boat here. I did a search and found a couple of results on youtube. Someone would probably have made a tutorial but i've been so busy lately that i just cant find the time for it. maybe you guys will have better luck with it
  5. I have over 30 FC-HDD's ranging from 75GB @ 15k rpm to 300 GB @ 10k rpm. The easiest way from what I have learned is to use a FC adapter that fits on the connection end of the hard drive and whats called a "T" connector with mounts on the motherboard. If I am not mistaken you can find them in PCI / PCIe and PCIx configurations, but it will also determine the over all data transfer rate of the dives I/O. Another solution to all this is using a HBA (host bus adapter). With this arrangement, you will also need a FC hard drive enclosure and fiber optic cable to connect the two, the enclosure can be anywhere from a single drive to several drives set up as JBOD to various RAID configs. There is a lot of info I am leaving out, but am trying to give you the over-all idea of how FC systems are setup. Essentially FC components are geared to heavy enterprise use where the budget to even consider this stuff isn't really an issue. All these drives I got, were from a friend who worked for a major petroleum company, and due to new software they were going to start using, cause them to literally "dump" all of their who know;s how many EMC tier-3 database servers (rows of 42U servers with huge RAID enclosures) anyways, it is possible to set this up, and others who have dabbled with this, were rewarded with out of this word performance unattainable with other forms of storage media. One case I remember, the guy explained on his gaming PC, it gave him the edge of being significantly faster than any of his other competitors. If I find those links, I will return and leave them.
  6. I'm back with an excellent source! Here at this link you can get everything you need to setup your FC system.

    Best of luck!
Ask a new question

Read More

Hard Drives Storage