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  • By: JohnStutsman

     

     

     

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    Figure 1 – Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B – 4 Bay 2.5” SAS/SATA HDD Hot Swap Cage for 5.25” Bay (Photo courtesy Icy Dock)

     

     

     

    This is the first of a three part series on the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B 6 Bay 2.5” SAS/SATA Hot Swap Cage for 5.25” Bay’s.

     

    Part 1: Unboxing

     

    Part 2: Installation

     

    Part 3: Performance

     

     

     

    Part 1: Unboxing Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B

     

    Recently, Dave asked me to review the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B 6 Bay 2.5” SAS/SATA Hot Swap Cage for 5.25” Bay’s (“ExpressCage”). I had the perfect application in my HP ProLiant ML10v2 where with the addition of a P222 I had 10 SATA Ports but only a main cage for four 3.5” drives and two 5.25” Bay’s. With the MB326SP-B I could put six drives in the Icy Dock ExpressCage using one 5.25” bay and still have a 5.25” bay available for future expansion or projects (a huge plus in my book).

     

     

     

    Specifications of the ExpressCage

     

    Icy Dock provided a list of specifications and product detail that I found very intriguing including support for six 2.5” HDDs/SSDs up to 9.5mm thick, hot-swap support, and SAS/SATA – 6GB/s support. All in a 5.25” half-height form factor needing only two SATA power ports. Having worked with the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB324SP-B at HSS MeetUp 2015 (#Best MeetUpEver) and experiencing very good results in a HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer and in a Lian-Li PC-K9WX Desktop I was excited to get started! I wasn’t disappointed!

     

     

     

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    Figure 2 – Specifications of the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B (Photo courtesy Icy Dock)

     

     

     

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    Figure 3 – The ExpressCage MB326SP-B requires two 15 Pin SATA Power connectors to power the 6 drive bays in the MB326SP-B which greatly simplified the power cabling inside the ML10v2. The ML10v2 had two 15 Pin SATA Power connectors that I could have used but I wanted to be able to connect all my cabling outside the ML10v2 before sliding into the 5.25” bay so I used a 8” Molex Y splitter to two 15 Pin SATA Power connectors cable and installation was a snap!

     

     

     

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    Figure 4 – The ability to control the fan speed settings is a great feature – with 2 SSDs and 4 HDDs in my MB325SP-B I chose to set my fans on high during installation just to help with cooling of the HDDs as well as the interior of the ML10v2 (Photo courtesy Icy Dock)

     

     

     

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    Figure 5 – The extra thought in the design to allow me to switch out the 40mm cooling fans in the future is a great indicator of good design practice, in my opinion (Photo courtesy Icy Dock)

     

     

     

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    Figure 6 – I like to use locking clips and appreciate the physical and audio feedback they provide during installation. The Blue LED’s provide me feedback that the drives are powered and it’s kind of cool, in my opinion, when the drives are being accessed and the Blue LED’s are flashing (Photo courtesy Icy Dock)

     

     

     

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    Figure 7 – The built-in screws secure the drives well that I was using (Photo courtesy Icy Dock)

     

     

     

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    Figure 8 – Icy Dock provides screws that could be used to further secure the drives to the caddy but I found no need for them – it is nice that they are available though (Photo courtesy Icy Dock)

     

     

     

    When the ExpressCage MB326SP-B arrived, I wanted to unbox it as soon as I could and get to work!

     

     

     

     

    Video 1 – Unboxing my Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B

     

     

     

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    Figure 9 – My ExpressCage MB326SP-B and box contents laid out on a Static Mat

     

     

     

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    Figure 10 – My ExpressCage MB326SP-B next to the included, LABLED, packages of HDD/SS 8 x M3*2.5 screws and Device 12 x M3*4 screws (each package with 2 extra screws so actually 10 and 14 screws respectively)! I was very impressed by this packaging organization, especially the labeling, and took it as a sign illustrating the thought and design care that goes into Icy Dock products!

     

     

     

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    Figure 11 – Key Features of the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B (Photo courtesy Icy Dock)

     

     

     

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    Figure 12 – Data Sheet for the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB324SP-B (Photo courtesy Icy Dock)

     

     

     

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    Figure 13 – Icy Dock ExpressCage MB324SP-B installed in my HP ProLiant ML10v2

     

     

     

    As-Built (I named my Computer: SkyNet)

    • HP ProLiant ML10v2 Gen9

    • Xeon E3-1220v3
    • 32GB Unbuffered ECC RAM KVR16E11K4/32
    • B120i Logical Drive 01: OS drive – 1 x Corsair Force GT 240GB SSD in RAID0 on HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID Controller – Port 1 (SATA III or 6GB/s) -- Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B Bay 1
    • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro
    • B120i Logical Drive 02: Data drive – 1 x Samsung 256GB 840 Pro SSD in RAID0 on HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID Controller – Port 2 (SATA III or 6GB/s) – Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B Bay 2
    • B120i Logical Drive 03: Data drive -- 4 x WD10JUCT 1TB 2.5” HDDs in RAID10 on HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID Controller – Ports 3, 4, 5, & 6 (each SATA II or 3GB/s) – Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B Bays 3, 4, 5, & 6
    • P222 Logical Drive 01: Data drive – 4 x WD 5TB SE HDDs (WD5001F9YZ) in RAID5 on HP Dynamic Smart Array P222 RAID Controller Card – Ports 1, 2, 3, & 4 (each SATA III or 6GB/s) – mounted in Bays 1, 2, 3, & 4 of drive main cage 
    • Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B (I used the existing SATA cable that had gone to the optical drive for bay 6 plus a Blue 18” SATA cable I had in stock from previous projects for Bay 5; StarTech Model SAS8087S450 19” (50cm) Serial Attached SCSI SAS Cable – SFF-8087 to 4x Latching SATA for Bays 1, 2, 3, & 4; I also used a Molex Y to two SATA Power Connectors)
    • Video card
    • 60mm Fan mounted near the bottom front of ML10v2 to increase air flow for the P222 and Video card
    • 40mm Fan mounted in empty card slot to direct air flow directly on P222 heat sink (plus Molex to Fan splitter and Y Fan to 2 Fan connector cable)

     

     

    Be sure to check in Part 2 of this 3 part series where I discuss the Installation of the ExpressCage MB326SP-B in my HP ProLiant ML10v2 while in Part 3 I show the Performance of my ML10v2 logical drives with the ExpressCage MB326SP-B installed.

     

    Then later, please join us in the HSS Forums to discuss this and many other interesting topics.

     

     

     

    References:

     

    Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=231

     

    Other HSS Icy Dock Blog Postings http://homeservershow.com/tag/icyDock

     

    Other HSS ML10v2 Blog Postings: http://homeservershow.com/tag/ML10v2

     

    HSS HP ProLiant ML10v2 postings: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/forum/98-ml10-and-ml10v2/

     

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