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I want to purchase a computer, which will work as a low-load Linux server, install it into a rack, and what it very important: connect external HDDs through eSATA. The problem is that

I can't find a server with an eSATA port.

Is there a specific reason for this?

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3 Answers

eSATA is considered "consumer-grade". Servers tend to use FC or iSCSI. You'll need to find a separate controller card with eSATA ports.

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All the Lenovo pedestal, HP ProLiant ML-series pedestal and DL100 and DL300 series rackmount servers I have installed have had SATA and enterprise-class SATA SSDs are becoming popular, so you'd have to spend thousands to get servers with SAS only. –  paradroid Dec 8 '10 at 12:38
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SATA, sure. eSATA port, not so much. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Dec 8 '10 at 12:43
    
I just added an easy solution for that to my answer. –  paradroid Dec 8 '10 at 12:57
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See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_attached_SCSI

SAS offers backwards-compatibility with second-generation SATA drives. SATA 3 Gbit/s drives may be connected to SAS backplanes,

...

Because of its higher signaling voltages, SAS can use cables up to 10 m (33 ft) long, SATA has a cable-length limit of 1 m (3 ft) or 2 m (6.6 ft) for eSATA.

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You can find SATA RAID controller cards with external SATA ports, so it's not really an issue. You do not use onboard controllers with anything but very low-end servers. Try to find one without a RAID card, and then you can add your own SATA RAID controller with external ports.

To start you off on your search, look at the HP ProLiant ML series of pedestal servers, or the DL100 series for affordable rackmounts, and add a 3ware RAID controller with external ports. I know they make one, as I have seen one recently.

Or, you could just use one of these brackets with any onboard SATA ports:

SATA to eSATA adaptor bracket

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Thanks, a bracket seems the simplest solution. –  olpa Dec 9 '10 at 7:44
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