Nice to (re)join everyone in the new forums, as I've been a long-time Drivepool user who never really had issues...at least until recently. Don't get me wrong, Drivepool is outstanding, but I have some questions with regards to building a new server, as my current/old one has died on me. (Forgive me for the long post, but I want to do this correctly and cost-effectively!)
A little history first. I was running an Acer Easystore H340 server which came with WHSv1. About 2 years ago, I upgraded it to WHS2011 and purchased the Drivepool Add-in, along with a Rosewill RSV-8(?) 8-bay external JBOD enclosure that used 2 eSATA connectors. Everything was working swimmingly. Just a few days ago, I started getting warnings from my SMART add-in that some drives were experiencing CRC errors and bad sectors. Due to concern, I started investigating, and in the end, it appears that my H340 PSU was dying, as the system no longer turns on, or spins up the fans. Rather than try to source a replacement PSU for the H340, since it is long in the tooth and has an Atom CPU, I have plans to build a 'real' WHS server.
So, I am leaning towards a Norco RPC-4220 chassis with mini-SAS connectors. I have never had the pleasure (or privilege) of messing around with SAS, so I have some concerns. Basically, I want to keep the JBOD type of setup and continue using Drivepool on top of a more robust I/O lane and system platform (Mobo/CPU/RAM). I already have about 14 SATA drives, and I'd like to continue using them. As far as I believe, the data on these drives is safe, and I understand I can install WHS2011 from scratch, add the Drivepool add-in, then power down and reinstall the HDDs, after which Drivepool should recognize them and add them to my (new?) pool.
My main question is if the Norco RPC-4220 and an SAS card that has a mini-SAS SFF-8087 will work together properly to support JBOD along with Drivepool. The controller card is my concern, as I am not sure which would be the best choice. I've narrowed it down to two semi-affordable ones without breaking the bank:
HighPoint RocketRAID 2720SGL PCI-Express 2.0 x8 Low Profile SATA / SAS Controller Card
areca ARC-1320-8I PCIe 2.0 x8 Lanes MD2 Low Profile SAS 8 Ports PCIe 2.0 6Gb/s SAS Host Adapter
LSI MegaRAID Internal Low-Power SATA/SAS 9240-8i 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0 RAID Controller Card, Kit
As I understand it, the LSI may be the best bet, as I wouldn't mind paying more for reliability so as to avoid anything blowing up within the next 5-10 (if I'm lucky) years. Would each of these cards be able to work with the Norco chassis? There aren't a lot of good detail pics of the Norco, so I imagine that each backplane would have an SFF-8087 port that I would connect to one port on the controller. Thing is, if I want to support all 20 drives, would I not need either multiple controllers, or an SAS Expander? If one controller plus the SAS Expander would be the best route, can you recommend any SAS Expanders? Newegg would be ideal as a supplier so that I can get the entire shipment at once, but I'm relatively flexible here.
Afterwards, I would build everything up, and as I said, install WHS2011 + DrivePool, create a pool with a few blank HDDs, then power down and connect the rest of the drives, subsequently adding them to the new pool. I suppose I would need to re-create the shared folders first though correct? That shouldn't be a problem as I only had about 10-12.
I GREATLY appreciate any help/feedback you guys can give, as my server is completely offline and really hindering my home network as I used it for DNS/DHCP and a host of other services that ran.
Many thanks in advance!