Over New Years I ordered 2 Dell PowerEdge T300 servers with 24 gb of RAM for $1500 each. I had no interest in upgrading with Dell's overly expensive hard drives, so I ordered them both with the minimum of 2x160gb drives, leaving two slots bare.
I then went to newegg and ordered 4x1.5 tb hard drives, and a week or two later got an additional 5x2 tb hard drives.
This left with me with too many hard drives for the slots, so into the bargain I added an Addonics MST5X1PM Mini Storage tower, a standalone box capable of holding four hard drives and connecting to a host via an eSATA 5x1 port multiplier. I also had to get an Addonics ADS3GX4R5-E PCI card and a 3 ft eSATA cable from Newegg (OK3EAR) -- tip, get the 6 foot cable.
I then stuffed the four 160gb hard drives that Dell shipped in their servers into it, hooked it up to one of my Debian-installed T300 servers, and voila! Four extra hard drives! JBOD FTW!
(I'm not used to stuff like this Just Working on Linux, and so far I really like the Addonics tower, so I thought I'd post about both.)
The PCI card has 4 open ports, too, so I could in theory add three more storage towers. But then the I/O would suck even more.
Pointers to equally good or better JBOD SATA 3.5" enclosure options are very welcome.
p.s. On the other hand, I have a failure rate of over 50% on the hard drives from newegg. WTF?