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I have a few spare 2.5" HP SAS SSDs sitting around and collecting dust for about 2-3 years now. They were used for about 1 day in another project that ended rather abruptly.

I now have a need to store and run several large VMs, for development purposes. I would like to try to find some use for these drives, did some research, and found that running VMs on USB/Thunderbolt SSDs (I have a MacBook Pro) has suitable enough performance for my needs.

I'm having some trouble finding off the shelf sort of solutions for getting SAS to interface with either USB or Thunderbolt. I was hoping someone with a bit more knowledge on SAS would be able to provide a creative solutions for this problem. Ideally, a portable drive enclosure would be the most suitable, though I doubt such options exist.

I'm not looking for product recommendations, simply more or less on ideas how to convert SAS to USB/TB, even if it's non-conventional.

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closed as off-topic by TomTom, Ward, Tim Brigham, Rex, mdpc Mar 5 '14 at 2:23

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave these specific reasons:

  • "Questions must be relevant to professional system administration. Server Fault is dedicated to professional system and network administrators. End user and enthusiast questions are off-topic (contact your system administrator or hire a professional to help you out). Please see the Help Center for more information." – Tim Brigham, mdpc
  • "Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – TomTom, Ward, Rex
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

How large are the VMs? – ewwhite Feb 27 '14 at 14:24
About 250-300GB each. Sorry, didn't feel that information was all that relevant. – Michael K. Feb 27 '14 at 14:33
It's relevant because it impacts sizing. SSDs aren't terribly large these days. – ewwhite Feb 27 '14 at 14:37
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There's nothing on the market that will make it cost-effective or worth using those particular drives.

I do own a SansDigital Mobilstor 8-bay SAS enclosure. It's 8 pounds and measures 7.0x10.5x5.5 inches. It only has SAS output, but can be coupled with a Magma or OWC Helios Thunderbolt expansion enclosure outfitted a Mac-supported SAS card (ATTO, LSI, Adaptec).

But that's stupid...

If I were you, I'd sell the HP SAS SSDs. They fetch ~$500-800 each on eBay, as they're compatible with G6/G7 ProLiant servers and the entire Storageworks MSA P2000 SAN product line.

I'd replace them with either an OWC Helios enclosure with PCIe SSDs or any USB3 or Thunderbolt bus-powered SSD solution. I personally use a 480GB OWC Envoy Pro external SSD for VMs.

enter image description here

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I saw one of these drives go for about 100 USD on ebay about a few months ago, that pushed me not to sell them. However, I'll probably end up taking your advise if the other route is not cost effective. Thank you for a concise answer. – Michael K. Feb 27 '14 at 14:37
@mikerobertking I buy lots of those drives. They're the only thing HP supports... – ewwhite Feb 27 '14 at 14:38

Nope, not that I know of. This is SOOOO fringe that noone makes something like that. External SAS enclosures with thunderbolt do exist, and they ARE portable, I am just sure they are not your definition of portable ;)

It is also off topic here as we do not look kindly on people asking for product recommendations. A good site to ask is this thing called google (ask someone if you never heard of them). THe keywords (SAS, tHunderbolt, enclosure) are not exactly a SUUUPER common combination, so even someone like you, who never has heard of google before, can give them a try.

Adding some technical detail. It looks like that is not eve nreally likely doable for USB at least as the USB hard disc protocol seems not to be able to talk the finter elements of the SAS protocol, so all SAS advantages go out of the window (TCQ to be exact). WIth now limited technical feasibility that really turns into a fringe^3 requirement and thus into something on mass producer will touch. Not work the funds to invest into quality control and production.

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Trust me, I've tried Google, or I wouldn't have asked a community for help, but information is sketchy, conflicting and I have yet to find any solution. As you stated, this is really a fringe requirement, and that is why I'm asking the expert group here for creative solutions. – Michael K. Feb 27 '14 at 12:53
Does not change that this type of question is not welcomed here by the owners of this place. – TomTom Feb 27 '14 at 13:18
Yeah, oh well, I'm not looking for anyone to promote any specific product, just get an idea how to convert the interfaces to USB or TB since I lack the technical hardware knowledge to do so. End of story. – Michael K. Feb 27 '14 at 13:47
I know. Seriously, though - no chance. WAY to rare thing. – TomTom Feb 27 '14 at 14:13

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