Thanks for the sugestions, especially all the HP info and build

Two things crossed my mind on the hardware front. The first is regarding
the SSDs you have pictured, mounted in sleds. Any Proliant that I've
read about connects the hotswap drives via a SAS backplane. So how did
you avoid that (physically) to make the direct SATA connections?

The second is regarding a conversation I had with HP pre-sales. A rep
actually told me, in no uncertain terms, that using non-HP HBAs, RAM, or
drives would completely void my warranty. I assume this is BS but I
wonder if anyone has ever gotten resistance due to 3rd party hardware.
In the States, at least, there is the Magnuson–Moss act. I'm just not
sure if it applies to servers.

Back to SATA though. I can appreciate fully about not wanting to take
unnecessary risks, but there are a few things that don't sit well with

A little background: this is to be a backup server for a small/medium
business. The data, of course, needs to be safe, but we don't need
extreme HA.

I'm aware of two specific issues with SATA drives: the TLER/CCTL
setting, and the issue with SAS expanders. I have to wonder if these
account for most of the bad rap that SATA drives get. Expanders are
built into nearly all of the JBODs and storage servers I've found
(including the one in the serverfault post), so they must be in common

So I'll ask again: are there any issues when connecting SATA drives
directly to a HBA? People are, after all, talking left and right about
using SATA SSDs... as long as they are connected directly to the MB

We might just do SAS at this point for peace of mind. It just bugs me
that you can't use "inexpensive disks" in a R.A.I.D. I would think that
RAIDZ and AHCI could handle just about any failure mode by now.
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