Does anyone know if I can install normal 2.5" SATA drives inside an HP DL360 G5 server? Right now it has 6 72GB SAS drives. I am looking for raw storage for my files SAS performance in not required.
SATA2 disks should be compatible with the Smart Array P400i that comes with your server (or any other SAS controller, for the matter), although probably not with stellar performance as others have noted. But keep in mind that not all SATA disks are suitable for use with RAID because of the infamous Time-Limited Error Recovery parameter (TLER for WD drivers, also called ERC by Seagate and CCTL by others). Disks not prepared for RAID configurations will frequently drop from the array.
I've never had any compatibility issues using SATA disks in HP hardware or with Smart Array controllers.
A better solution may be to use midline SAS drives if you have the budget. They'll still run at 7200 RPM, but still have a SAS interface (and queuing, etc.).
I'd recommend the 2.5" Seagate Constellation drives in either 500GB or 1TB capacities, with a SAS-2 interface. They should be around $200 per disk. The SATA interface versions of the same drives will be about $50 less per disk.
The HP ProLiant DL360 G5 server uses a Smart Array P400i RAID controller in most setups. Performance is helped tremendously if you have a battery-backed write cache unit on the controller. See: Incredibly low disk performance on HP ProLiant DL385 G7
Make sure you update the firmware on your internal Smart Array (P400) RAID controller before doing this. See the HP firmware update page for your model and OS.
You should be able use any SATA drive, but I'd consult the bare drive model numbers on HP's Hard Drive Model Number Matrix before you buy. That'll give you a strong indication of which drives will work well in your server, and point you to any special firmware.
Old question, I know, but it took me ages to find that list.
You can use SATA drives, but make sure they are "raid edition" drives intended for use in servers, and not drives intended for use in desktops. "Raid Edition" is Western Digital's name for it: other vendors each have their own name, but this is important; it's not just snake oil and you can run into problems if you get cheaper disks.
Expect to spend about $100 for a 1TB disk of this type:
or $120 for a more recent version with a larger cache: