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cdk487

Add a 4 or 5 bay Enclosure connected thru eSATA controller card to my Server.

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I have a Lenovo Thinkserver TS140 running windows 10 pro OS on a 500GB SSD and #3 4tb HD in a 12TB pool using StableBit DrivePool. I use it as a Plex media server and as my personel computer. I want to add a 4 or 5 bay Enclosure JBOD's which will have 10tb HD's in it. I will start with two hd's and add others as needed. I need help choosing an enclosure and an Esata card that work well together. I have the following questions too. When using StableBit DrivePool what is best for a Port Multiplier on an eSATA card, command based switching or FIS (Frame Information Structure)-based switching, or does it not make any difference. The card I was looking at had 2 eSATA ports that could be used simultaniously but it only used command based switching on the port multipliers. I was thinking that I want the enclosure to have a power toggle switch so that it does not shutdown when rebooting my server or does it matter. Will StableBit DrivePool connect automatically with the enclosure when I reboot my PC? Also will StableBit Scanner be able to monitor the HDs in the enclosure thru eSATA and will the HD S.M.A.R.T. status work? Is there anything else I need to consider for this to work or do I have to consider another way to add storage. 

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Honestly, SAS is a better option, even if it's only the controller (there are external SAS to eSATA breakout cables), but this is usually much more expensive. 

That said, an ASMedia or Marvell based controller is your best bet. These should work well, and not have any issues (the ASMedia stuff may need to have custom drivers installed to get PM support).

 

As for enclosures, Orico aren't bad.  The MediaSonic Pro boxes are okay, but I wouldn't recommend then. Otherwise, Not really sure. 

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On 8/30/2018 at 5:23 PM, Christopher (Drashna) said:

 The MediaSonic Pro boxes are okay, but I wouldn't recommend then. Otherwise, Not really sure. 

Having owned a few of these (a 4 and 8 bay), I'd say to get whatever ASMedia card they recommend. I used a 4-bay one with whatever eSata was on my mobo, and the SATA port replication was a little wonky until I picked up the card MediaSonic recommended. They've been rock solid after that.

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Get a Norco box for the drives, and a LSI Host Bus Adapter with External SAS connectors.  Then plug the internal SAS connector into the backplane of the Norco box, and the external connector to the external connector of the HBA.

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When I started with my single Probox connected to a Rosewill SiL 3132 card everything worked great. Then I bought a second Probox and couldn't get it to work reliably with the second eSATA port. Mediasonic recommended the Asmedia 106x and that has been working rock solid with the pair of Proboxes for 5 years. I did have one misadventure when I decided to try Windows 10 in 2017. Everything installed nicely and appeared to work but I had two major problems in subsequent operation - drives were disappearing and network connectivity was intermittently slow. I simply popped the Windows 7 SSD I put aside and have continued on with no problems. 

I see in the previous posts in this thread that if I wanted a more up to date and more reliable Win10 based system I should look at HBA with external SAS connectors. Is there a detailed explanation elsewhere on the forum about that type of setup? Now it's 2020 - is the Norco enclosure with LSI HAB still a recommendation?

As you can see by my previous choices I went the very low cost route. I think there was cost in time such as the time sorting out that the 3132 card wasn't reliable for twin multiplex eSATA connections. 

Thanks,

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On 8/24/2018 at 7:50 PM, cdk487 said:

Is there anything else I need to consider for this to work or do I have to consider another way to add storage. 

I have 2 MediaSonic Probox 4 bay enclosures on USB 3.0, along with 8 other USB 3.0 external HDDs in my DrivePool and they all are working just fine. If I shut down or reboot my media server computer, the Probox units come back online and DrivePool sees all my HDDs. IIRC, there is a switch on the ProBox to select auto reconnect on start up, which I did initially when I set the boxes up, and have not had to touch them since.

I am not currently using DrivePool Scanner, but Hard Disk Sentinel is able to read all the drives in the MediaSonic Probox units without any problems. It reports all the HDDs in the ProBox enclosures and also the S.M.A.R.T. of each drive.

I find the USB 3.0 speed more than adequate for streaming my video files. And my media server is just an old HP desktop. Nothing at all special about it.

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