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I need a 1U rackserver for hosting a website running on Windows Server and MS SQL. I plan to have a SSD drive for the system and SQL database and a large 1-2 TB standard SATA HDD for a lot of datafiles that needs to be served from the website. The SSD I plan to use is the Intel X25-M in the retail edition with 3.5” box.

I have been looking for the DELL PowerEdge R410 but do not want to pay for their expensive HDD and SSD.

Q1: If I buy the PowerEdge R410 in the cabled HDD version would it then be possible to switch the disks to my own disks without problems?

Q2: Does the empty drive bays (4 in total) contain brackets so that I can install standard SATA HDD’s into the empty drive bays or do I need to buy the server with two disks to be able to install my own two disks? What about cables?

Q3: Do you see any other problems in this configuration?

Thanks in advance.

/Karsten

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2 Answers 2

1: You should have no problems swapping existing disks for your own disks, as long as they're of the same interface

2: Unless something has drastically changed, empty drive bays have blank faceplaces installed to improve airflow, but do not come with empty drive carriers. You will have to order the drives from Dell to fill them, or get them from Ebay. I believe your R410 is newer, so you'll have more difficulty. You might be able to find resellers by searching Google.

3: No particular problems jump out with the exceptions of reliability and performance hits if you only have one spindle. If you purchase additional drive carriers and use a RAID layout, you'll get better performance (if you plan your RAID right, anyway) than is possible with only one drive. Not to mention that single-drive failure in your situation would seriously cramp your style.

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You can buy empty drive frames from Dell. Ask for the spare part sales department. –  Roy Nov 27 '09 at 20:01
    
Nice, thanks. I'll try that. They've always told me that the only way to get a carrier is to buy a drive. The lying jerks. –  Matt Simmons Nov 27 '09 at 21:46

On a Poweredge R410. if you buy the cabled version at it's cheapest, it comes with 4 (3 empty and 1 full) drive trays that come precabled for more drives. You do not need to buy any extra drives or cables.

The only thing that you need to find are beveled Hard drive srews because the R410 has a rather peticular screw size.
I have 10 R410's and have added my own drives to all of them.

EDIT I have had the problem, that the R410 comes precables for SAS drives(which is compatible with sata drives). My problem was that I have velociraptors the (GLFS series) that have a repositioned sata connection that won't fit with the SAS interface.

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Blake: If you ever want to use velociraptors in a backplane, you should get the HLFS ones. I guess you know this now –  Daniel Lawson Dec 12 '09 at 19:59

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