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I am wanting a Rack Mountable USB drive array. I can not for the life of me find one that already exist so I am thinking of building my own. It is a quite simple design. Simple make a rack mountable case that will hold several consumer grade USB hard drives. Mine will work with western digital USB 2.0 hard drives. The Case needs to house a power supply with the proper dc voltage and enough wattage to handle all of the drive. this can be done with an AT (not atx) computer supply which will provide both the 5 and 12 volts required by the WD hard drives. Second there needs to be an internal USB 2.0 Hub This is an inexpensive device as well. Third and most difficult, there needs to be connectors and a slide track built into the case that will allow the drive to mate with the usb and power connectors when inserted. This can be simplified by making your own drive casings using cheap usb drives cases for IDE hard drives and Cheap IDE hard drives.

The purpose of this design is to replace outdated, slow and expensive tape back drives with faster more reliable and less expensive hard drives. I currently use this minus the raid case along with Powerquest server v2i to backup the servers that I administer. It is a great solution. Please let me know if my idea is usefull. I have plenty of others where that came from,, David Lapham dwlapham@hotmail.com The number 9505 is to authenticate that I am the one that wrote this and had the idea first in case it ever comes into dispute

Update 5-28-2004 Ok, after reading others thoughts on this and after think on it over night I came up with the following additions. 1. Make the array available in either USB 2.0, IEEE 1394, Serial ATA. 2. Use a Rack Mount Box that allows as many 5.25" devices as possable. Use high quality IDE removable drive bays. Use USB 2.0 (or firewire, serial ata) to IDE adapters hoooked to the back of the IDE drive bays. Use an internal USB 2.0 /Firewire hub to connect all of the drives togeather.


dlapham, May 27 2004

A bit more pricey than what you are looking for...... http://www.zmicro.c...roducts/storage.htm
.....but could not resist shameless plug for my outfit. [normzone, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

USB to IDE adapter http://www.cwol.com...e-adapter-ud200.htm
Not so expensive, see next link for more [kbecker, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

IDE Raid controller http://logicbox.zoo...m/product/DUPLIDISK
The IDE bus doesn't know its RAIDed, prices are coming down. If the link doesn't work any more google for "DupliDisk". [kbecker, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

The cheapest boxes I know (that don't fall apart when you sneeze) http://www.budind.c...bin/view?part=ch-vl
If you leave out the front panel you immediately have a good number of vertical 5.25" bays. (some drilling and flat head screws required) [kbecker, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Hard Drives instead of tapes debate http://www.tomshard...m/storage/20030425/
Toms Hardware review of 70TB IDE backup System [dlapham, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

USB Hard drive bay benchmark http://www.overcloc.../Icy_Dock_USB_Rack/
Proof that my idea will work and USB 2.0 is not to slow [dlapham, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

A site that has these bays for sale http://store.pcwebs...m/icmbusb20alu.html
Just need about 8 or nine of these to fill a rack mount case [dlapham, Oct 04 2004, last modified Jun 21 2007]


       Sounds like a good idea to me. Data rate issues exist, but they exist for tape systems as well.   

       The number 42201 is to authenticate that I am the one that wrote the first annotation in case it ever comes into dispute.
Worldgineer, May 27 2004

       112100 is the number I am designating to verify that I am the first one to add a link to this idea. The link is to a product my outfit manufactures.....probably not at a cost that will make you pick up the phone and order a dozen, unless you've got some battle group that needs them.
normzone, May 27 2004

       Firewire is also an option. I only specified USB to keep it simple. I was writing this for a patent or something I would include firewire.   

       I agree that data rate could be an issue if this was being used as a Raid aray for a file server, but for backup it is not any problem at all. USB 2.0 and Firewire both support speeds over 400Mbps which even if you take into account that is a burst rate is still about 4 times faster than a 100Mbps LAN.   

       Norm, Your outfits raid device is not USB or Firewire is it? I am sure that they are great, there are several SCSI raid arrays available, but at a cost the would not benifit most backup requirments. This idea is to provide a cost effective backup alternative to Tapes and Optical Platters.   

dlapham, May 27 2004

       The unit as shown is neither USB, or Firewire, or in your cost area, but if you were to speak with one of our sales people, they would offer to make you anything you want, faster than possible, at more cost than you wanted to spend.   

       And we could deliver on that in a ridiculously short time frame. This is what we do every day.....it gets very interesting sometimes.
normzone, May 27 2004

       Entirely doable, see links for cheaper hardware.
kbecker, May 27 2004

       the number 123022 etc. etc.

I was looking for one of these, but could only find a couple of dual drive bays. However.. as RAID is natively supported across firewire in OSX I don't reckon you're gonna get far with a patent !.

P.S. you don't want USB for backup.. it's so slow.
neilp, May 27 2004

       the number 90135 authenticates that I think you are all nuts
krelnik, May 28 2004

       The number 012565 indicates (in some locales) that I'm 39 years old.
Gromit, May 28 2004

       I thought that 42 indicated that life, the universe and everything are backed up on tape because they offer absolutely huge storage capacity which outstrips current hard disks?
david_scothern, May 28 2004

       David_scothern, You can get USB/Firewire hard drives that are 1TB now. Are you saying that tapes are better than a drive array full of 1TB drives?   

       Neilp, USB is not slow. I can backup 30Gig from a server over the network in less than an hour. That is faster than most tape systems until you get into the fiberchannel systems that are several thousands of dollars. Firewire is good also. I am looking into building my system to be both fireware (IEEE1394) and USB 2.0. USB 1.0 is verry slow, but 2.0 is not. -DL
dlapham, May 28 2004

       The number 9505 is to indicate that I am prepared to steal this idea by setting my internal clock back to 1994 before I send this post (even if it seems to have been baked personally by "quick as a flash and twice the price "normzone's corp.   

       Anyone know if they are going to exceed USB2? or is there anything already in production? Or are we going to have to go back to using some sort of hideous parallel tech.
PainOCommonSense, May 28 2004

       PainOCommonSence, There is Serial ATA. This is not a replacement for USB 2.0, but rather a replacement for IDE. IDE is not Hot Swapable which is why I do not want to use an IDE Array. Serial ATA is Hot Swap enabled.
dlapham, May 28 2004

       I just found a site that benchmarked an internal usb 2.0 drive. It seems that it will in fact work for backups and is not to slow as some of said..
dlapham, Aug 18 2004


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