Rack mount server with 16+ hot swap bays

I’m looking for some recommendations for a new build. I am currently on an ancient synology with 3.5 hdds.

for my new system, I need it to be rack mount, and at least 16 sff hot swap bays. I was hoping for u.3, but u.2 is fine. I’m looking to put 8tb ssd’s in it to start off with, but would be running this for 4-6 years so would need to be able to upgrade to larger drives (whether that is just swapping out the drives or putting in a different HBA - doesn’t really matter, i’d just need the ability to do it)

my rack is currently 23" but is extendable to 41" (however, i’d love to keep it as short as possible)

i was considering an hp DL380 Gen9, but after going through the forums it looks like that might be the best idea. and i’m not even sure if u.2 would work with those. (the plus side of the hp is that i have access to quite a few of them that are about to be decommissioned)


“Hoping for U.3”? Why on Earth? It’s 100% a scam and is less compatible than U.2 (by virtue of U.3 SSDs supporting U.2 backplanes).

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thank you for that info! i made the ignorant assumption that u3 would be better… :man_facepalming:

U.3 requires the following if you want SATA/SAS/NVMe in one bay:

  • A hilariously expensive tri-mode expander
  • A hideously expensive tri-mode SAS controller
  • U.3 SSDs, which many/most new ones are, but does limit your options

U.2 has none of that by just having separate signal paths for SATA/SAS and PCIe.

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what are your thoughts on the intel DC P4510?

And, for all the price, Tri-Mode rewards you by running your NVMe drives under the SCSI bus for a good cap on performance.
I can’t wait for Quad-Mode…

any thoughts on a dell R7515? looks like i can pick one up with 24 nvme for about $2500 (no drives included)

Sure, but that’s not inherently a U.3 thing, that’s just Broadcom and Microchip doing crap work.

Used? Not all units are wired for PCIe on all 24 bays. If the one you’re eyeing does, yeah, it’s a fine server.

Do note that the R7515 is, IIRC, PCIe 3.0 only. If you want PCIe 4.0 you need to upgrade to a 7525 with two CPUs (this is merely a cost-cutting measure by Dell).

good to know – i’ll have to look at that since i’m hoping to run this for a good 6-8 years (if not more since horse power-wise this is WAY more than i need… i wish there were more NVMe nas options)