6TB of Hot Swappable Drives for $600

IcyDock makes a 4 port chassis for SATA drives that allows you to build your own RAID out of large and inexpensive drives. The resultant JBOD can then be formatted into RAID0 or RAID1 (software RAID) and presented to backup applications (ie – Retrospect) as offline storage. Amazon sells an IcyDock, populated with 1.5TB drives for a total of 6TB, which is how I’m now snapshotting my VMs in my lab. I’m also using it as the backup destination for my home Kerio server. ¬†Works nicely so far.

You can also buy the IcyDock with no drives and likely populate them with 2TB drives, although I haven’t tested this yet (aka – requires confirmation). ¬†The IcyDock connects to Mac, Windows and Linux machines over eSATA and the drive hot swappable modules are eSATA. If you don’t already have an eSATA card for your Mac then then you can get one of those at Amazon as well. If you would rather roll with the 2TB drives then you can get those at Amazon too!


  • July 30, 2009 - 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Curious to know if have looked at Drobo too.

  • July 30, 2009 - 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Oh I love Drobo. Especially the fact that it has support for iSCSI. This is more for the home lab environment. Although so is Drobo. I’ve only ever put it into production at customers when it was to be used as a backup device. But it’s good, inexpensive storage. I’ve also used ReadyNAS a bit, which also supports iSCSI and has a fairly substantial API development community. But the thing that I like about this is that it’s just a JBOD. Pop some drives in, RAID them if you like, it’s hot swappable and cheaper than any of those other solutions, which is key for the home lab environment for many in IT. It’s not very advanced, but then if I’m plugging it into an OpenSolaris box running OpenStorage I really don’t need it to be – it’s just presenting some iSCSI LUNs for my VMware Fusion guest OSen…

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