I started with a regular tower and quickly moved to a CoolerMaster Cenurion 590 tower with three 4-in3 cages. I reached the limit of 12 drives and wanted to expand. I had a choice:
1) Buy the ~$100 each 5-in-3 cases to go from 12 drives to 15, basically $100 per extra drive's on top of the drive's cost.
2) Buy an external box or two such as the Sans Digital TR5-M, which add on via eSata and expand by 5 drives each.
3) Buy a server case like the Norco 4220/4224.
At that time I went with option 2 and bought two 5-bay eSATA add-on boxes. I'm still using these.
The lack of quick swap capability with my 4-in-3 cages has finally worn me down, however. So now I've bought a new 4224 case and am in the process of transferring my 20 data drives, plus parity and cache drive over to the new chassis. It's going in the basement rather than the office where the Centurion still is.
With hindsight, I would have gone with the 4224 had it been available right at the start.
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