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SuperMicro CSE-M35T 5in3 Hotswap Cages

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I've been recommending these cages for users wanting to build a server. They eliminate the most common problem users have, and that is knocking cables loose while adding or exchanging drives. Over time, the ability to painlessly swap in and out drives, and even swap problematic drives between ports to isolate problems, is priceless.

 

Consider this all to common scenario. You want to replace a drive (maybe it is failing, or maybe just want to upsize it). You open the case and swap out the old and swap in the new. In the process, you can't help but touch a few cables with the back of your hand. No harm done. You put the server back together. Boot up. Everything looks good. You start the drive rebuild. 2 hours later you check on progress. The array is offline. A different disk in your array is showing a red + (it has dropped offline). Looking in the logs you see that it was getting link resets and ultimately the drive dropped offline. One of those cables you thought you harmlessly touched - it wasn't harmless. Even the slightest skewing of a cable can create an intermittent connection. You now have a more complicated recovery to do, and if you make a mistake, could easily lose data.

 

Hot-swap cages are not the cure - they are the vaccine. Once you have them and they are burned in, this should never happen to you.

 

These are a pretty good deal. $67 delivered. And you can make an offer (looking at purchase history looks like seller has been accepting most offers).

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SUPERMICRO-CSE-M35T-1B-5-x-3-5-Hot-Swap-SATA-Hard-Drive-Enclosure-/172642519582?hash=item28324bca1e:g:c7oAAOSwXj5XGSS3

 

Seller has 100% positive feedback.

 

These particular cages are highly recommended by me. I have a bunch of them and they work flawlessly. They have 92mm fans that cool quite well. and these can be swapped for quieter fans if needed. Three of these together with an Antec 900 or similar case, gives you an excellent 15 drive case for an unRAID server.

59b2b9afdb141_Antec900with5-in-3s.png.e9d15d96f849c704410450e6148a8474.png

 

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6 hours ago, bjp999 said:

Three of these together with an Antec 900

 

Do they fit the Antec 900 without any tinkering ?

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Yes - you just need to fold back the metal tabs separating the 5.25" slots with a long neck C-clamp. Very easy to do.

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Thanks for the info.

 

I had to perform a somewhat more difficult procedure on a Zalman MS800 a couple of years ago, always interested in something better :)

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8 hours ago, jwegman said:

The lowest he went for me (last week) was $60 (with free shipping).

 

Great price! Enjoy!

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You can buy a large bag of the screws on Amazon for just a few dollars. I am not aware of any substitutes for these screws, you you have to buy them.

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Just a question for the group.  I am a norco user myself and love the simplicity of having a backplane.  The way I am figuring this is 100 bucks for a case and 180 dollars for the enclosures.  It seems like for 300 bucks, I can buy a norco case with a backplane and not have to fuss with 15 sata cables with Power Y splitters.

 

Yes, I have a rack for my norco, but lately it does just fine sitting on the floor.  What is the big draw for a solution like this?  It does not appear to be price.

 

Side note - this IS a solid deal for this product.  I am more questioning the overall solution.

 

Thanks

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51 minutes ago, wisem2540 said:

Just a question for the group.  I am a norco user myself and love the simplicity of having a backplane.  The way I am figuring this is 100 bucks for a case and 180 dollars for the enclosures.  It seems like for 300 bucks, I can buy a norco case with a backplane and not have to fuss with 15 sata cables with Power Y splitters.

 

Yes, I have a rack for my norco, but lately it does just fine sitting on the floor.  What is the big draw for a solution like this?  It does not appear to be price.

 

Side note - this IS a solid deal for this product.  I am more questioning the overall solution.

 

Thanks

 

A few advantages of this type of solution:

 

1 - You can grow it over time. Buying just one of the M35Ts will provide 5 hot swap ports. That will keep many users happy for a while, and then you can add a second and later a third ... Norco is a bigger initial purchase. Many users have an old tower leftover and can set up a small array with hot-swap for only about $70. And can incrementally grow it over time without losing their investment in hotswap cages. Once you start a project like that, buying a Norco and scrapping the existing investment can be more expensive. It is nice to have a low cost of entry, and then be able to spend incrementally to grow as needed, even if ultimately you will have spent more.

 

2 - This case takes up very little floor space. I personally am not interested in having a computer rack in my house, and would much prefer the small footprint of a tower case. And even if I was ok having one, the WAF is very low!

 

3 - These work better than the Norco's, which many users report as having quality issues. The Norco's also don't cool particularly well (I bought a Norco 5in3 that I assume is the same design and didn't like it at all. Luckily I found a forum member and traded it for his SuperMicro). The supermicro drive cages leave the entire top and bottom of the drives open for complete airflow - and the cages are made of aluminum. They are an excellent design. 

 

4 - The hot-swap units can be moved between cases, and even used to create drive towers that can sit external to a case and provide storage. Norco's have no such flexibility.

 

5 - Removing all of the drives from a tower case leaves a relatively light shell that can be moved, lifted to a workbench, whatever to troubleshoot or enhance. I don't own one, but my sense is the Norco would be considerably heavier and more unwieldy. Especially lifting off the floor! I prefer to be able to work on my server without needing another pair of hands. My newest case is on wheels, and it was easy to move the hot-swaps into it. Being on wheels makes it particularly easy to move around even with a lot of drives installed.

 

To each his own, but these are the reasons I think the tower option is better, at least for some of us.

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21 hours ago, SSD said:

Removing all of the drives from a tower case leaves a relatively light shell that can be moved, lifted to a workbench, whatever to troubleshoot or enhance. I don't own one, but my sense is the Norco would be considerably heavier and more unwieldy. Especially lifting off the floor! I prefer to be able to work on my server without needing another pair of hands. My newest case is on wheels, and it was easy to move the hot-swaps into it. Being on wheels makes it particularly easy to move around even with a lot of drives installed.

I have rails on my rack and the rack has wheels so I can move my 5 systems around my basement all at one time.  To work on an individual system I just pull out a single norco case on the attached rails and remove the top cover to give complete access to everything in the MB compartment.  I can get my 5 systems in the same floor space of two of my Lian Li V2000 full tower cases.  So for me it makes sense to use a rack mounted norco over a tower.  For a single system I would probably have stayed with my Lian Li's.

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4 hours ago, BobPhoenix said:

I have rails on my rack and the rack has wheels so I can move my 5 systems around my basement all at one time.  To work on an individual system I just pull out a single norco case on the attached rails and remove the top cover to give complete access to everything in the MB compartment.  I can get my 5 systems in the same floor space of two of my Lian Li V2000 full tower cases.  So for me it makes sense to use a rack mounted norco over a tower.  For a single system I would probably have stayed with my Lian Li's.

 

For 5 systems the rack sounds like a great option. 

 

And if the rack allows easy access, that really downplays the "it's hard to lift onto the bench" argument. (But moving it up the stairs would still be hard :) )

 

There's no wrong answer. Important thing is to hear reasons to go rack or tower, to allow each person to make the best choice for themselves.

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