Looking for a compact but complete hardware solution RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm keen to get started with WHS but there's only one off-the-shelf implementation, ie the Tranquil T7-HSA, available in the UK.  It's a neat little package but it is headless and has room for only one internal hard disk drive - additional HDDs have to be external USB.  My intention is to have a minimum of three internal HDDs so I have been looking at barebones systems to which I would add a CPU, RAM, HDDs and OEM WHS s/ware.  Because of the intended location of the box, it needs to be compact (say 35cm x 30cm x 20cm) and quiet but also support at least three internal SATA HDDs.  So far I've not found anything that meets these criteria.

    Can anyone suggest a possible solution available in the UK?


    Thursday, October 25, 2007 10:14 PM

All replies

  • Shuttle XPC small form factor P2 cases are 32.5cm x 21cm x 22cm and have three internal HDD bays. The latest models have eSATA too so you can easily add external SATA. You could probably build quite a compact and cost-effective WHS box using one of the older models (look at all the models ending in P2). I believe there are several Shuttle distributors in the UK. The most raging Shuttle forum, where there are people who will answer your questions is here. I have a low-power, Shuttle SD11G5 running WHS at the moment. The G5 cases are even smaller, but only have room for two internal HDDs (I've thought about replacing the DVD drive with an HDD though, since the DVD is only used once in a blue moon).
    Friday, October 26, 2007 10:54 AM
  • You might be able to use an Iomega StorCenter but they are quite expensive to begin with if all you want is the hardwae.

    Friday, October 26, 2007 4:22 PM
  • I used an Asus barebones unit. Works great has everything you could need. Three (3) sata and one ide. Heres the link.

    Sunday, October 28, 2007 4:22 AM
  • (Snake, I've linked the URL in the previous post, but please bear in mind that not every browser will turn a URL into a link for you.)

    There are also other options. Pretty much any SFF barebones that has Windows Server 2003 drivers available will do the job, I suspect. Finding the systems with Windows Server 2003 drivers is a chore; they're often the same as the XP drivers, but not always, and there's usually no mention of them on the manufacturer's web site, so you have to download and examine drivers for each barebones (or motherboard, etc.) you're considering.
    Sunday, October 28, 2007 2:24 PM
  • splisskin, thanks for this.  As far as I can tell from the specification, this unit will only accommodate two SATA HDDs internally.  Is one of yours external or did you use the 5.25in bay?  Which processor do you use?


    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 3:24 PM
  • Many thanks to those who have posted on this thread for the help and advice.  I shall continue to look for a barebones solution that combines compactness with HDD capacity but In the meanime I'm still tempted by the Tranquil PC off the shelf solution.  This device is limited to one internal HDD.  Can anyone advise me on the disadvantages, if any, of having all the secondary drives as external. I'm looking to operate with a minimum of 3 HDDs.

    Thanks, milesm.
    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 10:32 PM
  • The first thing that comes to mind is USB 2.0 bandwidth. It's rated at 480 mbps, but in the real world you're usually lucky to see more than 300 or so. That bandwidth is shared among all the USB devices connected to a particular hub. If you put multiple hard drives on a single hub, it's easy to saturate it, which results in poor performance for those disks.

    Depending on their motherboard, they may only have one hub in their server, which would mean that all their external ports would share that hub.
    Wednesday, October 31, 2007 3:06 AM