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Recently, I just bought a HP Microserver Proliant N40L for use it as dns, http, vpn, file storage and also for backups of other computers at home. I already have 2 1Tb HDD's, so I thought to buy another 2 HDD's and install is as raid5. This way, I could have 3Tb 'usables' for storage everything I need.

I just see through that the Microserver has a eSATA port on the back of the case. So, I am thinking about to install a 5th HDD for be the system disk one. I mean, to install Debian (root and boot) in that disk. I just only to buy an eSATA->SATA connector, because the 5th disk will be SATA also.

The point is: is there any performance difference doing this way, using the eSATA as "main disk"?

Thanks you

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

There is no performance difference. SATA and eSATA are the same protocol and are equally fast.

The only differences are:

  • Different connector. (Sturdier).
  • Slightly higher voltages on the eSATA cable. (400 to 600 mV on SATA, 500 to 600 mV on eSATA)
  • Longer cable lengths are allowed for eSATA. (Max. length for SATA is 1 meter, eSATA doubles that)
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So, my purpose will be totally right, won't be? It will be beter a 5th drive, because the raid will be separated. For the futures SO reinstalls, for example –  JavierMartinez Aug 25 '12 at 13:58
    
Separating the OS and data is a good thing. Just make sure no data is stored on the OS drive or that you have backups of that (e.g. of configuration files). Putting those backups on the RAID is an option, but has obvious consequences. –  Hennes Aug 25 '12 at 14:04
    
I will find a closure or something to connect the SATA to eSATA. Thanks you so much –  JavierMartinez Aug 25 '12 at 14:08
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