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Buying a DAS for a Server

Last response: in Storage
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August 2, 2011 8:54:17 PM

Hello all,

I am looking for a storage solution for my company as our current space is dwindling. I found that we have a working HP Proliant DL 380 G3 with server 2008. The hard drives that are inside are Ultra 320 SCSI drives and I will be using two of them in RAID 1 for the OS. I don't want to use the remaining 4 bays for storage because SCSI drives are expensive and there would be no room for expansion in the future without buying an extension so I want to skip the expensive SCSI drives and just go for a 12 bay external direct attached storage to be able to get a RAID 5 configuration for our main storage needs. From what I found I need to get a PCIe RAID controller to get the 12 bays of drives working with the server. The server does have 3xPCIe expansion slots. What I need is for someone to tell me if what I've picked out will work together and if I'm missing anything. Here is my current list of items:

  • PCIe SAS Controller Card
  • SAS Expander Direct Attached Storage
  • 3x2TB SAS HDD

    I'm worried that I might be overlooking something important between the items or that the HDDs need trays to slid into the expander. What do you think?
  • More about : buying das server

    a c 304 G Storage
    August 3, 2011 1:37:48 PM

    If the HDDs need trays, they will come with that bay device. Not to worry. You may need an SFF 8088 cable to connect the controller to the bay device.

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    Now, my 1.5 cents' worth.

    You are spending one heck of a lot of money to support what will be a slow array. I strongly suggest that you put more than three drives into your RAID5. From what I have read here in the past, I think that you break even in speed around five drives.

    You have a twelve-bay enclosure there. You can buy smaller ones for less money. You have a four-port controller with three internal ports, where no internal ports are needed. Are these the results of a thorough search for SAS devices and the lowest-capacity that you could find? I know that for SATA drives you can pay less for smaller-capacity hardware, but I haven't done much research into the more expensive SAS world.

    Finally, please remember that RAID 5 is no substitute for backups. Make backups of all of the data on that device.

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    August 3, 2011 4:17:17 PM

    I didn't realize that you'd need more drives for more speed if you can find a link to where you found that I would greatly appreciate it. I have just recently entered the world of RAID storage two months ago and I am still learning. As for the cable I had chosen a different model of the DAS but then switched to the one I linked to and this on doesn't have a cable, thank you for pointing that out.
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    a c 304 G Storage
    August 3, 2011 4:23:17 PM

    Senselesslogic said:
    I didn't realize that you'd need more drives for more speed if you can find a link to where you found that I would greatly appreciate it.

    It just stuck in my head from reading the forums; I'd have to go through the whole history of the NAS/RAID forum to pick out specifics and I'm much too lazy to do that. Sorry.

    Any more experienced people to jump in?
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    a c 304 G Storage
    August 3, 2011 7:34:48 PM

    Gosh and golly, SAS isn't much less expensive than SCSI was.
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    August 3, 2011 10:12:35 PM

    Well that is because SAS stands for Serial attached SCSI. :p 
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    August 4, 2011 9:31:17 AM

    You will gain in speed if you use more drives in strip mode /and mixed modes/, because you are writing more bits in parallel, but it also seriously depends of your RAID controller.
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    a c 304 G Storage
    August 5, 2011 10:33:52 PM

    Senselesslogic said:
    Well that is because SAS stands for Serial attached SCSI. :p 

    Thought that it stood for 'Spensive as SCSI.
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