I can't find a disk enclosure which I like, so I'm going to build a custom one (if nothing else, that'll teach me to be picky...). I've got a few HP SAS backplanes lying about, but I'm wondering if they would require the "right" (ie HP branded) controller to work? They've got regular SFF-8484 connectors, so I should be ok, right?

EDIT: Found a mention about HP having standard connectors to their backplanes, but wiring them up differently. This sounds like exactly the thing I was worried about. Does anyone have more information regarding this? (Reference)

  • 2
    Good question! favourites Jan 8, 2012 at 14:43

2 Answers 2


Well, I'd first ask why you're unable to find a disk enclosure that suits you. What's missing? I tend to use HP enclosures like the D2600 and D2700 for storage projects. However, many storage solutions utilize Supermicro's offerings.

For the most part, you shouldn't have any problems mating controllers to backplanes using multi-lane SAS connectors. I use the HP enclosures with HP and LSI controllers for ZFS storage and haven't had any issues. This works well for multipath SAS and I've been able to get LED and slot identification to work.

  • Well, most of them are a bit clunky. The office does not have a server room, or even a rack, and most enclosures I've found are rackmounted, and seem sized to also contain a motherboard and a small family of chipmunks... What I want is just the disks, a power supply and external multilane connector(s). Those that are not too large are all QNAP or such, ie lots of features I do not want to pay for.
    – carlpett
    Jan 10, 2012 at 20:02
  • But, that said, thank you for sharing your experience! I'll go ahead and try it on a single disk first though... (see update)
    – carlpett
    Jan 10, 2012 at 20:04
  • How many disks do you need?
    – ewwhite
    Jan 10, 2012 at 20:07
  • At least 8. I found a picture of a Sun StorEdge Multipack which seems to have done the thing I want, albeit quite a few years ago...
    – carlpett
    Jan 10, 2012 at 20:13
  • Accepting as you verify that it at least works some times. I'll just have to try and see what happens...
    – carlpett
    Jan 19, 2012 at 11:25

I remember building a storage server with a minimal budget - I got a supermicro case (with sas/sata backplane), used a supermicro motherboard, dell perc raid controller and hitachi enterprise grade sata drives.

It pretty much worked - could set up the raid and use it fine, could see the activity leds blinking away although it wouldn't show the led for a failed drive, and one drive dropped offline for no good reason at all (although to be fair I can't say for certain whether it was actually due to dell controllers preferring dell certified/supplied drives).

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