I could use some help with choosing hardware for a storage server. For
budgetary and density reasons, we had settled on LFF SATA drives in the
storage server. I had closed in on models from HP (DL180 G6) and IBM
(x3630 M3), before discovering warnings against connecting SATA drives
with SAS expanders.

So I'd like to ask what's the safest way to manage SATA drives. We're
looking for a 12 (ideally 14) LFF server, 2-3U, similar to the above
models. The HP and IBM models both come with SAS expanders built into
their backplanes. My questions are:

1. Kludginess aside, can we build a dependable SMB server using
integrated HP or IBM expanders plus the workaround
(allow-bus-device-reset=0) presented here: 
http://gdamore.blogspot.com/2010/12/update-on-sata-expanders.html ?

2. Would it be better to find a SATA card with lots of ports, and make
1:1 connections? I found some cards (arc-128, Adaptec 2820SA) w/Solaris
support, for example, but I don't know how reliable they are or whether
they support a clean JBOD mode.

3. Assuming native SATA is the way to go, where should we look for
hardware? I'd like the IBM & HP options because of the LOM & warranty,
but I wouldn't think the hot-swap backplane offers any way to bypass the
SAS expanders (correct me if I'm wrong here!). I found this JBOD:
http://www.pc-pitstop.com/sata_enclosures/sat122urd.asp  I also know
about SuperMicro. Are there any other vendors or models worth

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