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BPU-340SAS SATA/SAS Backplane RAID Cage

For many years, the role of a backplane was primarily in the server environment. With home computing and server environments becoming intertwined the roles of devices like this are becoming skewed. Backplanes are no longer just for SCA SCSI devices and are now being found more and more in other arenas as SCSI is no longer the king. SATA/SAS has taken the performance per dollar championship. iStarUSA thinks they might have the answer to the industry’s needs with the BPU-340SAS RAID Cage.

A Blurb about iStarUSA

iStarUSA Computer Inc. established in 1989, has over eighteen years of experience in designing and manufacturing Industrial Power Supply, DVR/IPC Rack mount Chassis, Rack mount Cabinet. Our goal is always to provide our customer with the best products and superior customer services, , iStarUSA focuses on providing our customers the combinations of cutting-edge technologies, high quality manufacturing, and satisfied customer services. It has been a proving record that these principles earned a strong partnership for iStarUSA in today’s competitive market.

iStarUSA Computer Inc. established in 1989, has over eighteen years of experience in designing and manufacturing Industrial Power Supply, DVR/IPC Rack mount Chassis, Rack mount Cabinet. Our goal is always to provide our customer with the best products and superior customer services, , iStarUSA focuses on providing our customers the combinations of cutting-edge technologies, high quality manufacturing, and satisfied customer services. It has been a proving record that these principles earned a strong partnership for iStarUSA in today’s competitive market.

The BPU-340SAS is a 4 tray backplane that occupies three 5.25″ bays and does so with an all aluminum design and some stylish looks. This backplane weighs in at a sturdy 10lbs., features an 80mm cooling fan, power toggles for each tray, a safety lock, and supports RAID 0/1/5 configurations. The unit also ships with 4 SATA cables sporting connector latching and generous lengths.

Whether you are part of an IT company or a home user, backplanes like this can be a real time saver. Servers have been using backplanes since I can remember and the need to open a chassis to replace a defective hard drive; or to upgrade a drive to one with a larger capacity facilitated their inclusion. The ability to quickly have access to and replace a drive if necessary is rapidly making its way into the home user’s market.

The BPU-340 helps eliminate wire clutter by only requiring two power connections for all four SATA hard drives. However, the unit still requires 4 SATA connections as it does not support port multiplying and therefore does not require any hardware other than that of your motherboard provided your motherboard has at least 4 SATA ports. Since this unit does not use port multiplying you can guarantee that you will get full data throughout on each channel.

Each tray on this unit is constructed of aluminum to maximize heat dissipation. The trays are designed with a latch for removing the tray from the unit and a near useless safety lock, I will get to that in a bit. The front of the unit is constructed of plastic including much of the internals and the safety lock. The lock itself is hard to manage, especially if your fingers are larger than that of a 10 year old’s. I would much rather prefer a key lock (like the iStarUSA BPN-350SAS) or no lock at all instead of the dial method implemented here.

The plastic face of each tray is pleasing to the eye, but doesn’t offer much in the way of durability. After only testing the unit for a week or so, I was displeased to find that the latching mechanism for one of my trays had already broken. However, the bright side is, I abuse hardware and should not be viewed as the daily user. This doesn’t minimize this though, as I feel that each assembly should be constructed of a higher quality material so it can withstand more than general usage.

To the right of the assembly is a series of lights / power buttons. Each of these buttons lights a bright green and flashes orange with activity. The activity / power indicator is a nice inclusion but having them serve as a power switch for the drives is asking for trouble; unless you are in a managed environment. There is nothing stopping someone from pressing the pretty green lights with their tiny little fingers, if you catch my drift (which is why the safety lock is useless). In my case, it was my dog’s wet and curious nose that did the trick. This feature is not unique to iStarUSA as I see it implemented on other competitor products.

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About Joe D

I have always had a passion for everything computing. In early 2000, I decided to take my passion to the web. Thus, C.O.D. was born. Through the years we have made many great friends at C.O.D. and hope to continue our journey for years to come.

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