As I prepared to ready a server that will ultimately be my WHS 2011, I needed a full tower that would hold all the drives I was planning to use. Rather than buy another full tower, I decided that I would make more sense to build a new mini V1 server that would be used for my critical data as well as backups, and reuse my full tower for my WHS 2011.
I shopped around as I was looking for a smaller case but wanted something that would hold at least 4 to 5 drives. It is pretty amazing the few choices there are in small cases that will hold that many drives and use a MicroATX size board. Most smaller cases limit you to Mini-ITX boards which typically do not have enough sata connectors for what I needed to do. Since I was planning on moving all my movie collection to WHS 2011, I did not need nearly as many drives in this server but I wanted room to grow just in case.
Along comes the Lian-Li PC-V354B. This is one of the most unique cases I have seen in a while as it breaks the mold for sizing. It sits only 13.6 inches tall, but is wider than most cases at 9.65 inches. It is the ultimate server case as it holds 7 3.5 inch drives and 2 x 2.5 inch drives, and 1 5.25 inch drive. It has two huge quiet fans in the front which provide awesome air flow for your hard drives, and 1 on the top that provides ventilation, as well as a built in fan controller. Obviously with a smaller size, it was a bit of challenge routing wires but all in all this thing is stellar for a home server. Being this small, it goes without saying that it a bit more challenging to put together than a standard case, but in the end it is worth a bit of extra work. The only downside that I can see is that I wanted to buy another one and Newegg keeps selling out. They have received shipments twice an both times where sold out before I got a chance to order another. Apparently others find it to be a great case as well since they can not seem to keep them in stock. If you can find one and you need an awesome case for a small but feature packed server, check this one out.
Dual Front 120mm Fans
Uses full size power supply
Drive cages for 7 drives
Fits full size MicroATX boards
Power supply fits in front of the board so you will not be able to use a huge CPU heatsink
The finished product.