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Advice on upgrading server

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have been looking to upgrade my current "server" which is just a tower with approx 26TB of storage (random sized drives from 1TB to 8TB) running on windows 10 and an old i7. I have run out of SATA ports/space in the enclosure. I know i can just replace the 1TB drives with an 8TB, but I am looking for a more long term solution (with the ability to slowly migrate from low capacity to high capacity drives) and was looking at buying a server chassis and migrating everything in. However no matter where i look I either find server chassis that hold almost the same amount of drives as my tower, or extremely expensive 4U chassis with a backplane (which if i understand is a "motherboard", but i cant seem to find a good explanation. Is a backplane sufficient on its own or is it a bit of hardware that controls a few HDs but needs to be connected to a motherboard which then does all the work). and the other thing is, when i find a server chassis that is budget friendly i am scared off by the reviews as they fry some of the equipment. Can anyone suggest an inexpensive rackable server chassis that I can set up my media/plex/torrent server in?

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How expensive is exremly expensive? I have seen those 4u 24 bay supermicros for about 200-300 pretty commonly.


Id get a system like this if it was me https://www.ebay.com/itm/SuperMicro-4U-CSE-846-24-Bay-SAS2-BP-X9DRi-F-2x-W-2x-E5-2620-32GB-IT-MODE/174042242667?epid=16034592515&hash=item2885b9de6b:g:wUUAAOSw~p5dO3c3

Its a about 500 usd, but its a fully working system with dual xeons aswell.


Backplane really depends on case model.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Ah see, I'm from Canada, a supermicro 3U chassis from the local chain is about $1500, comes with a power supply and a backplane and blades. To be honest I'm not 100% sure what is reasonable and what isn't.

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Your cheapest option here would probably be gutting a retired server off eBay. Other enclosures like the NORCO RPC-4224 have served me well but it'll cost you a pretty penny. The whole market isn't really targeted for people who are on a budget. You might even have to go DIY.


A server backplane can be direct pass-though (where each bay has the full bandwidth of a SAS/SATA connection) or contain what is called a SAS Expander where a bundle of usually 4 SAS/SATA connections are split into 8 or more SAS/SATA connections of lower bandwidth. These can be standalone PCI_e cards or built into the backplane of a server chassis.


A chassis with a SAS Expander built into the backplane will not operate on it's own. It needs a full system behind it. This is usually connected to the system via SFF-8087 or SFF-8643 cables.

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