Originally Posted by Mfusick
I do not understand the motivation to spend extra on ITX to get less, then spend more to get additional features easily found on non ITX boards- only to have ugly wire mess and ugly bulky messy boxes wired to the back of it. If you could tolerate those- you might be served better with an ATX or Micro ATX case and build and having room inside a nice looking case for that stuff.
You can build a server in any chassis you want- locate it anyplace you want. Don't mess around with half-assed Msata connected crap
Ok I'm sorry, but you completely misunderstood my post. Read it again, I never said I was considering building a mini-itx pc to use a server and then connect external hard drive enclosures to it.
Let me say it again:
I am looking around my house for a proper place to put the server. I am still considering going the Norco path, but that will require some extra effort to make a place to put it. I don't have a rack currently, nor do I have any shelf space somewhere that is deep enough to accommodate it, so I have expanded my thinking to alternatives. Let me share some specific alternatives I am considering:
Option 1. Shorter rackmount case:
Chenbro 4U Compact Rack Mount (RM42300-F2)
-Can accommodate only five 3.5" drives out of the box, but there are also three 5.25'' bays that can be adapted to five more 3.5" drives. Then Chenbro sells a second 5.25"/3.5" hdd rack for this case that adds another six 3.5" bays. So right there you have a shorter rack mount case that can accommodate 16 drives.
-The case seems like a good option and I can replace its fans just the same as I would with the Norco
I am looking for any opinions on this case or suggesting alternative rackmount cases that are NO MORE than 18" in depth and can accommodate at least 15 drives
Option 2. Large, cube style case
LIAN LI PC-D8000
-This is a very large cube style case which can hold twenty 3.5" drives and five 5.25" bays to hold more.
-The style of this case is very muted being in all black, which gives me the option to have this thing out in the open in certain rooms. For example, I have space in my theater room to place this case in a corner near my other components. Its look is a lot like my large subwoofer, so it can actually not look like an eye sore while still offering me the expansion of a Norco case
-The case comes with no fans, which is great since I want to put in my own, quiet fans
-It comes with wheels, so its even easier to adjust or move around
Option 3: Build a mATX/ATX sized server
-I haven't made specific case choices for this option, but the idea is that I build smaller pc. No, not ITX, but mATX or ATX. I would likely choose a htpc/desktop style case.
-This pc could hold a few drives, maybe 5-8, but the majority of my storage would be offered via an external hard drive enclosure. I have looked at several that could work over eSATA, USB3, or even miniSAS. I could get a couple 8 bay enclosures and still use flexraid to manage it all.
I agree that option 3 is the most inconvenient of the bunch, that's why its not high on my interest list, but I'm trying to get an idea what the alternatives are. Personally, I'm looking very hard at the Lian Li case, but I haven't picked anything.
I wanted to lay these out so that you guys could comment and offer any alternatives.