Sata expansion, raid card?

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by lightsout, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. lightsout

    lightsout Gawd

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    I'm reconfiguring my setup. Which means my server will now be running off a micro ATX board and will need some extra sata ports.

    I've used the cheap pcie expansion cards in the past but the speeds sucked.

    Thinking I need something better. One of those cards with breakout cables. Can anyone point me towards an affordable solution? What to look for on the used market?

    I'm just running jbod don't care about raid.
     
  2. lightsout

    lightsout Gawd

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    Forgive my ignorance, I will not be using jbod. I thought it meant just throwing the disks in there which is what I'll be doing.
     
  3. CombatChrisNC

    CombatChrisNC [H]ard|Gawd

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    What OS are you using?

    If you're just throwing disks into the system and don't care about RAID, then yes, you are using JBOD (just a bunch of disks).
     
  4. lightsout

    lightsout Gawd

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    I am using win 10. After reading something about jbod it seemed to be talking about data spanning across multiple disks.

    I am just going to be serving media.

    I guess the main question is, is an SAS card necessary? Is there an advantage for my setup over some standard pcie sata card.
     
  5. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    I have this card that I was going to use for my media server eventually, but haven't gotten around to it since I need to have a bunch of empty disks since I believe all the drives attached to this controller need to be configured in the card first.
    Which means my current drives with data would need to be formatted if used with this controller.
    IMG_0437.JPG

    I do have a few HBA's, which are just SATA ports on a PCIe card, and those allow you to plug in a drive with data on it and use it in windows as is.

    Was using one when my Plex server was in an old Core2Duo machine,
    IMG_0835.JPG
     
  6. lightsout

    lightsout Gawd

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    Is that standard with the top SAS card that you have to format the drives. That would be a problem for me. I have used similar ones to the bottom picture. I may just go that route but I remember the speed was like 30mb/s transferring files.
     
  7. sinisterDei

    sinisterDei Gawd

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    The first picture he posted is a LSI-based SAS RAID card or HBA, and assuming it's in RAID mode yes, you would need to format the drives. Assuming you are able to format the drives, this is the best way to go (in my opinion) because you get hardware RAID support.

    The second picture he posted looks like a generic PCIe-based SATA controller, which should have performance roughly similar to your onboard SATA ports. If it's dramatically lower, like 30 mb/s, then you've got some other limiting factor.
     
  8. lightsout

    lightsout Gawd

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    If I have no use for hardware raid. Is the SAS card necessary?

    I actually still have a 2 port pcie sata card. I'll fire it up and test it out.
     
  9. sinisterDei

    sinisterDei Gawd

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    If you don't want the RAID, then a regular HBA or SATA controller card should work.
     
  10. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    I don't have much experience with the card, it's an LSI SAS Raid card, but when I was testing it out with a 500GB Sata drive, I had to do some initialization thing in the software before the drive was recognized by Windows.
     
  11. lightsout

    lightsout Gawd

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    Thanks guys, I have always used a simple setup, I guess one day I will lose data on a drive and rethink my setup, but for now the sata card will probably do fine.
     
  12. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You probably should have a backup instead (raid is not a substitute for needing a backup). I recommend getting the 8TB WDC externals when they go on sale for $150.
     
  13. lightsout

    lightsout Gawd

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    Yeah I know I actually bought one and did for a while but ended up getting low on space and used it.