[CentOS] External SATA enclosures: SiI3124 and CentOS 5?

Darryl Ross spam at afoyi.com
Thu Jun 11 12:16:49 UTC 2009

Few days late responding to this. Sorry, just catching up on emails.

Benjamin Smith wrote:
> Tired of "little problems" trying to keep 7 drives working in an old
> desktop computer, I'm considering an external SATA drive enclosure with
> a controller card based on the Sil3124.
> http://www.ipcdirect.net/servlet/Detail?no=152

Been there, done that. Upgraded to a Norco DS1220 12bay e-SATA unit for
my MythTV machine. Thinking of adding a second one.

> I'm a bit concerned about long-term support, namely that the company's
> driver page only lists drivers through RedHat 4.
> http://www.siliconimage.com/support/searchresults.aspx?pid=27&cat=3

The sata_sil cards are pretty well supported by the sata_sil24 driver in
kernels >= 2.6.25, or earlier kernels with the libata patches applied.

> Does anybody else have experience with this controller? How has it been
> for you?

Not that controller, but pretty similar:

[darryl at server1 ~]$ /sbin/lspci | grep RAID
01:00.0 RAID bus controller: Silicon Image, Inc. SiI 3132 Serial ATA
Raid II Controller (rev 01)

> If you have experience with an external SATA enclosure(s), what did you
> use and how did it work for you?

As mentioned, I have a Norco DS1220[1] which has only one 'strange'
thing about it. It has 12 bays. It is wired with 2 lots of 5 drives on a
port multiplier and the 11th and 12th drive as straight e-SATA with no
port multiplier for a total of 4 e-SATA ports. I thought it would have
made more sense to put 4 on 3 multipliers or 3 on 4 multipliers, but

What I did with mine was to use one of those PC back panel brackets that
have a couple of eSATA ports and plug into the motherboard SATA
connectors and have my boot drives on those. That way the drives are
still in the enclosure but the motherboard sees them on the on-board ports.


[1] http://www.norcotek.com/DS-1220.php

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