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Hardware Thread, Hotswappable SATA II controller in Technical; I am using a set of removable SATA drives for backups (chosen after a discussion here). They have been working ...
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    SteveLaw's Avatar
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    Question Hotswappable SATA II controller

    I am using a set of removable SATA drives for backups (chosen after a discussion here). They have been working great (we restore lost documents weekly, even daily and successfully restored the entire system drive/state when the server died).

    However, because the server's motherboard (Intel S5000PSL) does not support hotswap (to be fair, I'm sure it does for RAID but this is separate from the RAID array and the drive does not appear as a "removable device" no matter what I try) we have been going into Device Manager, and "uninstalling" the drive to remove it, then "Search for new hardware" to load the next. This has been working, exept that three times now (over the course of a few months) the server has hung requiring a restart during this process.

    I can't really allow this to go on so the best option would seem to be a PCI or PCIe controller card that I can plug the drive bay into.

    Does anyone know of such a card that definately supports hotswap in this way - i.e. shows the drive as a "Removable Device"?

    Many thanks.

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    Busybub's Avatar
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    Last time I checked Addonics (Addonics Technologies - Making Data Storage Simple) did some. UK retailers:

    Addonics On-Line Store
    Addonics storage products | buy Addonics online

    You'll have to check the individual specs to make sure. Probably won't show as a removable device in the same way as a USB jobbie though. If you want that sort of interface, you could be looking at something like a Stardom U6 USB unit with hot swappable trays, or Sharkoon Quick Port
    Last edited by Busybub; 9th March 2009 at 03:29 PM.

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    SteveLaw (9th March 2009)

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    Michael's Avatar
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    As far as I am aware every SATA drive is hot swappable, but it's the controller and software which allow you to use this function. Definitely go for a PCI Express or PCI X and not PCI, as this could create a bottle neck - especially if you're using SATA II drives.

    When removing the jumper, SATA II drives are capable of 300MB/s theoretical. Just make sure it states 'Generation 2' and you know you're running in SATA II mode

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    SteveLaw (9th March 2009)

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    SteveLaw's Avatar
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    I believe that the hot swap capability is built into the SATA specs yes, but the functionality is built into the controller.

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    SteveLaw's Avatar
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    The Sharkoon Quickport looks promising (even if it is a USB solution).

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLaw View Post
    The Sharkoon Quickport looks promising (even if it is a USB solution).
    You will probably find USB will be very slow at backing up.

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    SteveLaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    You will probably find USB will be very slow at backing up.
    That's what I was thinking but they are only around 30 by the looks of it so I might get one as well as - e.g. for restoring from previous disks without having to remove the main one. For backups the disk is only changed twice per week (Monday and Friday) - if I can reduce or eliminate all the swaps in between for restores I think I'm probably most of the way there...

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLaw View Post
    Does anyone know of such a card that definately supports hotswap in this way - i.e. shows the drive as a "Removable Device"?
    I use a Stardom RAID box at home (what Stardom are now selling as their "SOHORAID" product). Takes two SATA drives in caddies, mirrored in RAID-1, lets you pull one drive out and just keeps working (tried it whilst playing video from drive, works fine). Plugs in to a single e-SATA port on your machine, looks just like another standard SATA drive. The fan is a bit on the noisy side.

    --
    David Hicks

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    did some googling and found some sata hot swap boxes am presuming it either used sata or esata to connect to the main computer.

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    Steve,

    I've done the same as you with one of our Netware servers, and found that sata cards with the Silicon Image chipset support hot-swap. The card I'm using is just a no-name one and I'm not sure where I got it from but it's the same as this one:

    SATA PCI Express SATA II 3Gbps 1 External & 1 Internal

    Whether this would give you a 'removable drive' under Windows I couldn't say.

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    SteveLaw (11th March 2009)

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    SteveLaw's Avatar
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    I'm wondering if I may be getting confused between hot-swap and hot-plug? Is hot-plug the removable device one? Who knows.

    I'm going to go for one of those quickports - the pro version has an esata connection as well as USB which might be a way to go (of course we don't have an esata port on the server either

    Will check those cards out keithu thanks.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    We put one of these in our server for eSATA connected drives and it offers the disconnect option:

    Digitus PCI Express Serial ATA II Card DC-30101

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