Sata expansion for FreeNas


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Sep 3, 2021
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Hi guys, would appreciate some help on sata cards.

I recently ran out of sata ports on my motherboard, I guess a PCIe sata card would be an option.
I tried looking around and found these options below -


which one should i get..? or is there any other options..? Thanking you guys in advance.

Intel(R) Pentium(R) CPU G3250 @ 3.20GHz
ASUS VANGUARD B85 - motherboard - micro ATX - LGA1150 Socket
1 x PCIe 3.0 x16
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x1
1 x PCI

I cannot give you real world advice for these products as I do not have much to give as I'm not familiar with them. I will point out a few things.
  • You appear to have listed two different types of cards here. One is a SATA expander card. It just provides more SATA connections. (or JBOD = Just a Bunch Of Disks and *only* RAID1 configuration) while the LSIMegaRAID is a RAID controller card. Both allow you to add SATA ports and both can provide JBOD functionality, but I believe only the LSI card supports multiple different RAID configurations on the card itself.
  • If you intend to use LVM or a btrfs/zfs. RAID configurations on the card may not matter.
  • You did not list your power supply, but I want to point out that depending on the hard drives you are deploying. A spindle drive can consume as much as 6 watts I believe. 6 x 8 = as much as 48 watts. Ensure your hardware can supply the required power to whatever you intend to host. Otherwise you could end up with stability issues and data loss.
  • As for the watts listed above, SSD drives consume much less power, but you should still be aware of what your hardware can provide vs what you intend to install.
  • If it comes to RAID cards, I prefer hardware RAID to software RAID. Though, in the consumer / prosumer market. Costs can be a real factor and hardware RAID generally cost more than software RAID cards.
Thanks for the tips bro.. Just wonder if the 1st option will work..? The sata expander.. Will it work if my configuration is Raid 0. Just want to expand the storage.. It's 90% now... Appreciate the help
Thanks for the tips bro.. Just wonder if the 1st option will work..? The sata expander.. Will it work if my configuration is Raid 0. Just want to expand the storage.. It's 90% now... Appreciate the help

RAID0 you say? Then you can use LVM and accomplish the same thing by using a SATA expander. Now, while your existing data may not be on LVM, there is a trick to masquerade as a part of the existing directory tree. (if it is on an LVM, then you're set! You can just expand the LVM with the new SATA expander and drives!)

Hold on, before I proceed, LVM isn't necessary, but it DEFINITELY makes life easier. Especially if RAID0 isn't an option via the SATA expander.

Also, if you aren't aware. LVM = Logical Volume Manager.

Add the SATA expander and the new drives. Use LVM to create a volume group and add all the new disks to the new volume group. (this response won't go through the howto of doing that, but we can discuss that also) Once you have a new volume group, you mount it and then move some of your data their. Then create a symolic link from the original directory structure to the new directory structure for *new* data you're adding to your current dataset.

Obviously, if your directory tree is flat. This creates an issue. If your dataset is already established and you don't want to change your lower limbs of that directory structure, you will need to migrate data to the new LVM.
thanks a lot bro... appreciate your reply

Just wondering if i could add one by one drives... let say the sata expander has 5 ports, must i add all 5 drives at once or can i add it one by one, because i don't have enough budget to buy 5 drives at the moment.

Initially i did that with the provided sata ports @ my motherboard. When i purchase a drive, i just add it, and extend my Pool by selecting the new drive. I hope i will be able to this with the sata expander or withe the lsi sas thingy.

Sorry i dont have any experience using this card, especially the LSI one.. For instance the numbers...LSI SAS 9201, 9207 or 9300 , whats the difference. I noticed 8i means, 8 ports internal. Correct me if i am wrong.

Thanking you in advance for your tips and advice.

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