AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Ellicott City, MD
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I just looked at that on ebay and the one thing that jumped out at me was the fact that it did not include any drive trays. I did a search on completed auctions and there were a lot of new server racks that sold pretty cheap but none of them had any drive trays. You could end up spending a small fortune to get 48 drive trays to fill this beast, assuming you can find them. I checked the Chenbro website and couldn't find a part number for the removable drive trays, but I did see some on ebay that said they were compatible with all Chenbro server racks. One thing that I noticed is that it says the maximum capacity it will support is 192TB. That's a maximum drive size of 4TB x 48. It appears that you can install pretty much any motherboard and CPU(s) you choose, but the controller cards that are compatible with the backplane may put a limitation on the maximum drive size. There may be other controllers available the will work with the unit, but I have no idea without further research.
I use a 24-bay 4U Supermicro rack in conjunction with a 2U 8-bay Supermicro rack for a total of 28 data drives, 2 parity drives, one cache drive, and a spare slot for performing pre-clear functions on new drives for my unRAID array. The server currently has a capacity of 159TB with lots of room for further expansion. The current maximum drive size I am using is 8TB, but I believe I can go even larger with the controllers I'm using if I ever have a desire to do so. I can't see myself going in that direction as I already have more media on the server than I will ever watch in my lifetime.
At first glance the Chenbro rack looks like a great deal, but you have to factor in everything else you will need for a working server and then see what the tally is. You can find used turnkey 24-bay 4U Supermicro server racks that come with drive trays, motherboard, CPU, Memory, controller cards and cables, and power supplies for about $400 delivered, give or take. Just add the server software and hard drives and you're up and running.