It is possible to get PATA to SATA adaptors that would fit in the Xserve RAID drive sleds but there isn't a way to do this otherwise with different sleds. You'd also be limited to a maximum size of 1tb per SATA drive and have the slower ATA mode of the RAID. If you google "C3 Xtech" you'll find what you're looking for. Xserve RAID's are great bits of kit but it's a reasonable investment in old hardware unless you have the 14 drives already.
I agree with what beatle says. We've are running several XS RAIDs so have experimented with most upgrades. Your options are:
-Get a load of StarTech IDE2SAT adapters. These will fit in the caddy and allow the use of 2.5" SATA drives, such as WD Caviar Black. We moved over to these on one of our servers as IDE drives are harder to find. Works fine, no problems. The only problem is that there is no way to properly mount the adapter and HDD. We have held them in place with PVC electrical tape. Nothing moves around, everything is safe, but it's not a professional solution!
-Invest in the C3 solution to allow use of 3.5" drives, which would mount properly, but the C3 will cost you.
-If you have money to burn, use the IDE2SAT and add some SSDs. We've tried this, but the performance gains are negligable, simply as your bottleneck becomes the ATA100 controllers in the XS RAID - which you can't replace or upgrade. So, the cheapest solution is the first one.
We've just replaced one of our XS RAIDs with a QSan solution, which is WAY faster than what it replaced!
And just to add - the drive limit is 1TB. We have tried out a 1TB Samsung 2.5" drive which works fine. The old RAID we removed will become an archive file store in a different building connected to a Windows box!
I have installed the sata to ide adapters and have tried different hdd... Hitachi 750gb, seagate 750gb, wd blue 500gb, and velociraptor WD 300gb...
All of them have been recognized by the server. I could build arrays with them. However, there are a lot of lines reporting COMMAND: 0x25 ERROR...
Does that happen with the WD Caviar black as well?
The seagate and hitachi drives were kicked out of the array after several COMMAND Errors...
So far with the Velociraptors, they are still attached to the array. And the data looks ok... But it make me nervous seeing that many lines reporting COMMAND ERROR
How did you get the 2.5" SATA drive powered up using the IDE2SAT adapters?
The power coming out of the sled that originally attachd to the 3.5" IDE Drive is Molex, and the power coming out of the IDESAT adapter is a split Molex (1 x LP4 to 1xLP4+ 1 x SP4) so the power is not flowing thru.
It looks like you would need a SP4 to Male Molex cable, or and SP4 to SP4 cable, which I can't locate
I got IDE2SAT adapters from startech. These have the pass through connector.
Also, to add to my previous post. I was havving COMMAND ERRORs due to the adpaters I was using.
When I changed them for the IDE2SAT, everything worked fine.
I ended up using the Hitachi drives rather than the WD.
With Hitachi drives the SMART reports the usage time of the drive.