Planning an external SAS Enclosure Rockstor

Hi all

I’m responsible for ~200TB of audio and video data, which is currently on a zfs pool on an ubuntu server for audio and lots of manually sync’d WD Elements USB disks for video :confused:
I’ve been wanting to move to a RockStor setup mostly because of BTRFS’s ability to add drives to a pool, and now I see raid5/6 is less scary (with the backported kernel) I think it’s time to jump!

Proposed kit:
SAS disk shelf with shucked WD Elements drives, connected to a PCIe HBA.

Before I commit the money, does anyone have experience or confidence in using a NetApp DS4243 / DS4246?
Is there a good HBA that could be recommended?
Is the spin-up pin issue on shucked WD drives still an issue (specificly in NetApp or other SAS enclosures)?

I’ve seen old posts talking about problems getting SMART info and/or serial numbers through SAS enclosures… is the above setup at risk of this?

Thanks for any insights anyone can give me – I’m really excited to get RockStor to be a central part of our kit – just want to make sure I don’t mess up before even installing it!


I’ve bought an IPC 3U-3416 16drive server chassis instead of the external SAS to start with.
It has 4 backplanes with 4 drives each, so no SAS extenders, so hopefully SMART will all behave better for my first Rockstor.

Will update here about the WD sleep pin etc. once I have the unit.

If people do have knowledge of which external SAS cards/chassis behave nicely, do still let me know — 16 drives won’t last me forever :wink:

Cheers all


Delighted to report that my shucked white label WD Elements drives spin up and are detected and pass SMART info through the IPC 3U 3416’s backplanes. No bent pins necessary!
Nice touch is that the rockstar-reported-serial number of the shucked drive matches the serial number on the plastic enclosure we had already noted in our disk inventories.
One day I’ll brave going through an external SAS Enclosure with their associated SAS expanders, but happy with my 8 direct attached drives for now (using a reclaimed HBA with only 2 SFF8087s on it)

Testing workflows with my audio data (couple of TB per year) before I brave the video data (several of TB per concert!)


Don’t know about others, but would love to see some pictures myself! I use a few HBA’s on my home network/NAS setups with my (almost done) workstation.
2x 10-Gbps fibre & 1x Cat-6 10-Gbps with a QNap switch to my router connects the 3 setups.