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One of My Favorite Quotes...

“The Master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.”

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B for the Acer Easystore Home Server

I've had the Acer Aspire Easystore Home Server since early fall of last year (2009). It has 4 bays with one already installed that happened to be a 1TB hard drive. You'd think that the remaining extra bays for hard drives would be enough, especially 3 more 2TB each worth of space. But after a few months of owning the Acer Easystore Home Server I realize I need to look for a way to expand it...

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

Here's what I was looking for... I was looking for something that's basically ready out of the box or at least relatively easy to setup for someone like me. And it needed to be able to expand and grow as the time comes. So, I ended up getting the Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B. As you can see in the photo, I also bought a couple Hitachi Deskstar 2TB hard drives to get the tower up and running. All the movies, photos, mp3's and design projects for my clients take up a lot of room... more photos here.

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

The whole tower unit was packed nicely and securely. Better than most manufactures. Sans Digital did a great job at doing this. Besides the tower itself, it also didn't come with much. Just 2 eSATA cables and the quality looked really good, not those cheap ones. A 2-Port eSATA PCle Adaptor, a pack of screws, power cord, installation guide and CD manual. That's basically it... more photos here.

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

What I love about the Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B is the removable trays and how easy it is to install the hard drives. Here's a product description of the TowerRAID taken off Amazon...

"The TowerRAID TR8M-B is an 8-bay storage enclosures for high capacity storage needs. With built-in ventilating protective screen front panel, both units utilize cable-less backplane-design to support up to eight hard drives. Hard drives are installed on easy access hard drive trays for simple insertion and removal. Hard drive cooling is provided by a large 4.7-Inch cooling fan located on the back of the units. The TR8M is a compact RAID tower uses only two cables to connected eight SATA drives utilizing the latest SATA II port multiplier technology. Using the bundled two ports eSATA PCIe adapter, the user could easily access eight hard drives via JBOD mode, or two different sets of RAID 0, 1, 1+0 and 5 with spare. Units are available in black (TR8M-B) and silver (TR8M) finish."

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

On the Acer Aspire Easystore Home Server there's an extra eSATA port. So, I didn't need to install the 2-port eSATA PCle card, but did anyway just because I paid for it and came with it and I might as well. Also, because I was bored and needed something to do. The install was straight forward and went in smoothly... more photos here.

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

Next was to install the driver on the Windows Home Server. Well, the directions provided weren't clear and it didn't really help. Since the driver was on the provided CD and my Acer Easystore Server doesn't have a CD-Rom to read from it, I hit a small roadblock. What I end up doing was copy the whole CD into one of my shared folders and went from there. After all that, it was cake... more photos here.

Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B

Well, cleaned up my mess and reorganized the workspace to make room for the Sans Digital TowerRAID TR8M-B right next to my Acer Aspire Easystore Home Server. I now have about more than 10TB for the home server. I also have less than 3TB of free space at the time of this post and looks like it may last me a while. Maybe a month and a half. But soon, I'll have to buy another hard drive to continue to expand my collection. I'm not worried though, I have 6 additional bays for other hard drives to use up before I have to consider purchasing another TowerRAID enclosure. Remember, I have 2 more eSATA ports and 2 USB ports to grow on the Acer machine...

All in all, I would definitely recommend the Sans Digital TowerRAID to go along the your Home Server setup. Especially with the Acer Aspire Easystore Home Sever. No issues at all with the tower unit...

Check out my other post about the Acer Aspire Easystore Home Server.

If you're interested in any of these products, check out...

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