Really Good Cheap Storage Enclosure

Over a month ago I had a file server go down. This file server provided backup space for my primary file servers and there was some urgency to restore the lost storage capacity provided by the damaged server.

The crash was pretty ugly. The processor no longer functioned and the motherboard had a large scorch burn. It was an older server and I had certainly gotten my money’s worth out of it. However, the capacity it provided for my disk-to-disk backup solution (while not sophisticated) was still important for the reliable operation of my small network. There was a bright spot with regard to this outage; none of he large capacity IDE drives installed in the server were damaged. There were 6 drives in total.

Now, the storage capacity offered by this server was important but since my back-ups run over night speed was not a significant issue. Replacing the server could have been expensive but I found a cheaper solution for restoring the capacity offered by the salvaged the drives from the burnt out server…

I placed the salvaged drives into two AMS Venus T4U hard drive enclosures that I purchased from an on-line parts dealer. Each unit cost about $115 plus shipping.

These T4U hard drive enclosures will hold up to 4 IDE drives. (I understand that there is also an eSATA model.) After placing the drives into the enclosures I plugged the enclosures into another server on my network using the provided USB 2.0 connector and the USB 2.0 ports on the server. Tada, (and with a few mapping changes), the lost capacity was back on line.

In short these AMS Venus T4U units are very handy and after about 45 days they have performed well. The AMS Venus T4U is a nice unit and a nice solution if you need to quickly add drive capacity to your network or perhaps you just happen to have a few older drives sitting around that could be put to better use.

Additionally, the unit runs quietly and coolly, with the internal fan turned on, and offers many dip-switch options for configuring how the drives it contains appear to the host operating system. For instance, even though you may install 4 separate drives in the unit you can configure the unit so that all 4 separate drives appear as one drive (or some other combinations of drives) to the host operating system. The until also seems to work well with both Linux and Windows as I’ve had the unit attached to servers of each type with with no issues.

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