Specifications, Pricing and Availability
The AIC MiniBOD is less than 9 inches tall yet hold eight 2.5" form factor hard drives or solid state drives. The mini tower connects to a client PC via MiniSAS SFF-8088 connectors that are external. Each client PC needs a SAS controller with dual external SFF-8088 connectors like the LSI 9260-8E that is currently the fastest external SAS controller on the market.
If you work with audio or video data at home and at the office, keeping a card in each location will turn the MiniBOD into the ultimate portable storage with transfer rates that in our testing reached as high as 730 MB/s in ATTO. We actually achieved a sequential speed of 2700MB/s in Crystal Disk Mark in write speeds, but these were mainly cache hits from the LSI controller's adaptive memory. The MiniBOD uses two cables back to the controller. Each cable carries 4x SAS signals, so each drive actually has its own point to point connection, just as if it is used internally.
Advanced Computer International (AIC) was once an ODM only manufacturer, but have started branding and selling their own products under the AIC label. At this time they don't have many products at our typical search locations, but their products are available at many e-tail locations. I was able to find the lowest price on the AIC MiniBOD at Provantage. Provantage currently has the AIC MiniBOD available for 463.39, much less than I was expecting to find the MiniBOD for while testing. SAS enclosures are known to cost much more than this Dollar figure and the last external MiniSAS equipped hardware I tested held the same amount of drives, yet cost over twice that of the MIniBOD.
With the AIC MiniBOD being a JBOD enclosure, the RAID is handled by the controller, in this case the LSI 9280-8E. This is the ideal solution for SAS equipment since you can choose a high end controller like the 9280-8E or a cheaper option from any number of manufacturers; just remember that you get what you pay for in this area.