Inexpensive Pre-owned 24-bay 4U Storage Servers Available

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Posted August 6, 2013 by Patrick Kennedy in Client Tips
Supermicro 24-bay 4u storage server auction

There are many inexpensive 24-bay 4U server chassis available recently. For those that are aware, many users on this site utilize 24x 3.5″ hard drive 4U cases for storage servers. For many years, the Norco RPC-4224 has been a favorite low cost storage server chassis. It is currently $399 on Amazon with Prime shipping and can accept either redundant power supplies or standard ATX power supplies. The chassis was one of those featured in our December 2010 Buyer’s guide. Today, the more expensive Supermicro SC846 based systems have started to appear on sale for less than those Norco units.

Inexpensive Supermicro SC846 Storage Chassis Options

Recently an auction with many Supermciro SC846 based full 24-bay 4U storage servers went online. This auction is running approximately $350 on ebay. It comes with a Supermciro SC846TQ with 900w redundant power supplies. These power supplies are the PWS-902-1R versions which means they are 900w and not 80 PLUS certified. The interesting thing about this deal is that the chassis includes an AMD Opteron 2346HE processor, 8GB of RAM, a Supermicro H8DME-2 with IPMI and 3 Marvell based add-in storage controllers. Essentially, this is a full storage server with redundant power supplies for only $350. Building new, this is not likely a configuration many would choose, however just the chassis (without power supplies) would generally cost at least $400.

Supermicro 24-bay 4u storage server auction

Supermicro 24-bay 4u storage server auction

Credit for the original find belongs to Scout255 of the STH forums. In this post he alerted members to a $500 Supermicro CSE-846TQ-R1200B chassis with redundant 1.2kW 80PLUS Gold power supplies included. The catch is that those cases come branded with another company logo. This platform does not have the main server components, but is an excellent platform for a 24-bay 4U storage server. Generally a similar setup would cost around $1,000 new making this an approximately 50% off deal. This $500 storage server case also comes with rack mount rails, something that other offerings, such as the Norco cases do not come with.

Supermicro 24-bay 4u storage server chassis auction

Supermicro 24-bay 4u storage server chassis auction

For those wondering, Solera Networks is a big data security and analytics firm purchased by BlueCoat in May 2013. It appears as though their appliances are now using Dell systems.

Bottom line both offerings show good potential as an inexpensive 24-bay 4U storage server platform. The general consensus is that the Supermicro SC846 build quality is superior to the Norco RPC-4224 build quality. Once one factors in a quality power supply that can reliably power 24x 3.5″ disks, the Supermicro options are either the same price or less expensive due to these deals. With the $350 server listed above, one even gets a basic storage server platform with IPMI capabilities making it a solid basic storage server.


About the Author

Patrick Kennedy

Patrick has been running ServeTheHome since 2009 and covers a wide variety of home and small business IT topics. For his day job, Patrick is a management consultant focused in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about basic server building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

4 Comments


  1.  
    Jeggs101

    I like the more expensive one. Black looks better. It also comes with rails. I don’t mind the logo.




  2.  
    Silverstone

    Just a word of warning: I bought 2 x SC847 24+12 3.5” Hot Swap HDDs some time ago on a sale, just to find that they’re not compatible with standard ATX motherboards. Heck, not even microATX boards fit, not even their own power-board they suggested (about half microATX size)!
    The holes don’t align at all in either case. You can fit some very old motherboard in them (X7 series) or use them as JBOD. I suppose to do the latter you’d need a remote power switch because their power-board doesn’t provide one.

    Carefully check compatibility before buying. Furthermore ASK which revision of the chassis you will get!




  3.  
    Jeff

    I have never had a problem with MB comparability in any of the Supermicro chassis I have owned (SC823,SC825,SC846,SC847 and more).

    Some of the really old versions of these chassis are missing some of the newer screw holes which it sounds like make be the case with Silverstone above. These do have removable standoffs which you should make sure the seller includes.

    I am selling a complete storage server on eBay right now based off a newer SC846 and X9SCM-F MB. I will post a link in the forums if anyone is interested




    •  
      Silverstone

      Surely there are removable standoffs, but these can only be screwed in in a (a lot of) places. However at least 3-4 of them have no place to be screwed in, not even for standard ATX or microATX. For microATX, if I remember correctly, only 2 screws aligned.

      Surely the case is very old and probably is only for Supermicro proprietary boards.
      Just a word of caution for anyone to not make the same mistake as I did.
      In order to use my case I should put a 1156 server + CPU motherboard in (which is a ripoff nowadays). Maybe an ATOM X7 motherboard might allow WAL while still don’t cost as much nor draw as much power.
      This is why I say: check the revision of the chassis you will get!





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