Rich Freeman on 18 Mar 2017 16:34:51 -0700

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[PLUG] SAS / Storage

Ok, I've managed to accumulate a fair number of drives over the years,
which always creates challenges when I need another motherboard.
Right now I have 8 SATA drives plus 1 eSATA to contend with (though I
suppose I could move my eSATA drive internally and use another
internal SATA for it).

From what research I've been able to do the way most people cram more
drives into a system seems to be with SAS RAID cards, using SAS->SATA
breakout cables.  You can apparently get 4 SATA ports out of 1 SAS
port and with cards typically offering 2-4 SAS ports that gives you
for support for 8-16 drives.

My question is whether there is anything I should be concerned about,
or looking for in buying a SAS card.  Will putting 4-8 drives into one
PCIe slot result in some kind of IO bottleneck?  Are there any gotchas
when using SAS->SATA, or with SAS cards in general?  Should I be doing
it some other way that doesn't involve SAS RAID cards?  I'll confess
I'm also not an expert on PCIe in general either, so is there anything
I need to be mindful of there other than whether the card physically
fits in the slot?

I'm not really interested in any RAID capabilities on the card itself.
I just want it to expose a bunch of disks to the OS.

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