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Multiple External HDD setup Advice needed

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Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 26, 2010 10:28:55 PM

Evening all,

I have been tasked with building an external storage system that meets the following requirements:

- Caddy/Enclosure can hold upto 12 Sata HDDs
- Connects all through an eSata cable which will be connected to the eSata port on the I/O shield of the motherboard
- Is not part of a Raid - eg. each HDD is individual
- Budget = £400

Can anyone help by suggesting all the parts/components needed with web links?

Thank you very much in advance.

More about : multiple external hdd setup advice needed

a c 110 G Storage
September 27, 2010 7:26:33 AM

LOL on the budget
a c 102 G Storage
September 27, 2010 7:40:25 AM

See what NCIX or Tigerdirect has then Google the drives for more info and reviews.

Reevaluate the need for 12 SATA HDD's. Since you can buy a 2TB drive that's up to 24TB. Do you need that?

You'd be best looking for a 4-drive (up to 8TB presently) if that will do you.

A 12-drive system will be thousands of dollars.

Parts?
You'd buy:
1) the drive enclosure
2) 2TB WD hard drives

Other needs like Wi-Fi, RAID, security features etc will play a large role in the cost. I don't quite grasp your need.

Again, my advice (if possible) is a 4-bay drive with basic features which seems to be a quality build.
Related resources
a c 110 G Storage
September 27, 2010 8:27:23 AM

12 bay enclosures usually come with 3 miniSAS Connector which requires a controller card
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 27, 2010 10:42:23 PM

Hi all,

Thanks for your help so far.

There is no interest in RAID, Encryption/Security etc.

Apart from the Enclosure/Caddy - would all the HDDs connect inside the caddy and only one cable from that to the PC? eg. many to one.

OR

Would each HDD connect through the caddy to an external controller unit (controller card is not an option) then a single cable from that to the PC? eg. many to many to one

I will re-evaluate the amount of bays needed.

Thanks
a c 110 G Storage
September 28, 2010 12:41:15 AM

the most you will be able to connect via ONE cable (eSATA) will be four drives.

Motherboard's SATA port MUST support Port Multiplier in order for your computer to recognize multiple hard drive if the unit is connectd via eSATA

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 110 G Storage
September 28, 2010 12:42:16 AM

What kind of PC are you trying to connect the enclosure to?
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 28, 2010 7:51:46 AM

Thanks for the link.

It's a custom built system by myself - motherboard is an Asus P6T Deluxe V2, reading on other forums, it looks like the eSata port supports Multiplyers.

With the external enclosure - I notice alot offer RAID support, but can they be configured for RAID to be disabled? This maybe a stupid question but I am new to external enclosure setups.
June 3, 2012 7:08:27 PM

I have a "ghetto" solution for a similar project. I mounted 8 drives into a bunkbed type system where the drives are part of the structure suppourt. I used:

8 sata drives I had sitting around... totaling 4tb
wall mounting rails from my local hardware store (they come in 24" lengths)
Cut to my desired length and drove bolts through them into the drive screw holes.

connected all with individual ide/sata adaptors ( http://www.amazon.com/Cables-To-Go-30504-Adapter/dp/B00... )
*I didnt use this one, I found an el-cheapo on newegg*
all 8 cost about 85 bucks with shipping

added 2x 7 channel usb hubs. 4 drives to one hub and the other 4 to the other. also added 2x 60mm fans to push. I spliced and put usb ends on. also considering adding 2 more fans to pull. It stays around 32c at full power

finally got with a local metal worker to build me a custom aluminum sheet case. He tooled vents at both sides for airflow and welded the seams. I decided to have the bottom left open so I could just lift the case off like a sleeve.
he charged me for the material 20 bucks (and a 12 pack of beer)

other stuff I used:
grounded surge suppressor (8 plug)
electrical tape, shrink tubing, and zip ties for cable management.
2 metal filter screens.
a can of thermal resistant spray paint to the exterior (black, I didnt paint the inside)


the whole thing weighs about 15 pounds, a pretty robust bit of hardware.

cost:
hardware - $30
adaptors - $85

would I have bought new drives, hubs, or not had quite a bit of parts lying around id expect a a few hundred dollars more.
so 400 bucks really isnt plausible for a build like this.
June 3, 2012 7:17:23 PM

additionally: the dimensions of the case came to 16"h x 8"L x 7"w

each individual drive is recognized, but running even 4 drives through a single usb port makes the read/write speeds insanely slow. I can assume adding a dual channel sata pci card might speed things up a bit but its probably still gonna be a little on the slow side.

I just did this for fun to back up my media... as a day to day storage device its obnoxiously loud, pretty silly looking and hogs alot of power. I honestly use my external hdd more frequently than this beast. All my important stuff is backed up into the cloud.

were I to change anything Id swap out the surge suppressor for an 8 channel switchable power solution for individual drive power control. Maybe add a simple led array for hard drive status indicators
a c 78 G Storage
June 4, 2012 9:45:35 PM

Quote:
Evening all,

I have been tasked with building an external storage system that meets the following requirements:

- Caddy/Enclosure can hold upto 12 Sata HDDs
- Connects all through an eSata cable which will be connected to the eSata port on the I/O shield of the motherboard
- Is not part of a Raid - eg. each HDD is individual
- Budget = £400

Can anyone help by suggesting all the parts/components needed with web links?

Thank you very much in advance.


Sorry to burst your bubble :-( - You can not have 12x drives connect via a single eSATA, because the max number of drives per PM board is 5x. Also your MB has only 1x eSATA port

But here is how to have up to 15 drive instead..

Parts that you need:

3x SPM3726 from DATOptic you can order it in AMAZON ( save tax :-) @ $56.95/ea
1x computer case with 300W PSU, that hold 15x drives - $30.00
3x eSATA cable - $2.50~$5.00
1x U3_PCIE21 two ports USB3.0 PCI express card (optional) @ $19.00
(http://www.datoptic.com/usb3-0-pci-express.html or equivalent)
2x U3eSATA adapters http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005DCCMII $25.00/ea

Total cost: $284.30


Solution 1

1st five drives - use with eSATA port - one SPM3726

2nd and 3rd five drives connect via U3eSATA adapter then connect to USB3.0 controller

Tada! there is 15 drive.

Solution #2

Here is little more cleaner solution:

3x SPM3726
3x U3eSATA
1x USB3 Hub
1x U3_PCIe21

Connect 3x SPM3726 to U3eSATA then connect to the USB3 hub

then a SINGLE USB3.0 to U3-PCIe21

Note: there is NO USB3.0 to eSATA adapter that fully support PM like the USB3.0 that I listed...

I have test over 10 adapters, the only device that fully support PM mode is U3eSATA... so don't waste your time if you want PM (Port Multiplier) support

Hope this help!
!