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Storinator Re-Design: Modular Drive Cages

Two weeks ago, we announced a new re-design of our Storinator storage server. Brett walked you through the new features of the design that aim to improve user feel, serviceability, and thermal performance. Last week, we introduced one of the main electrical changes to our design, which was the direct-wired backplanes. This week, Brett focuses in on one of the major mechanical improvements of the Storinator which is the modular drive cages. These drive cages will improve user feel and serviceability when it comes to managing your Storinator storage server.

Hello, everyone, Brett Kelly here for another Tuesday tech tip at 45 Drives. So this week we are continuing on our intro of this StorinatorX, the next evolution of the Storinator storage pod.

Last week, we talked about our new PCB back planes, our direct-wired back planes, got a lot of good comments and everything, particularly someone asked where we got them manufactured and built. And I guess I didn't really mention that part. So we did all the engineering, testing, design work in-house. The whole team worked on it. But want to give a big shout out to a colleague of mine, Joshua Boudreau.

We've got the boards prototyped at different shops around the world. And we got the full production run of our board's done at PCB Cart. Very impressed with their service quality, turnaround time, everything about them. So if you're in the business of building production-ready PCB boards, check them out. Great.

Anyway, moving on this week, we're going to talk about kind of the next big feature that is new in these Storinator storage pods. If you can remember two videos ago when I did the overall intro, I said we were focusing on serviceability and user feel, which were two big areas we wanted to improve. So the PCB backplane is how we addressed that electronically and cleaned up some of the wires. But the more mechanical side of things, what we chose to do was our new modular drive cages. So this week, this is what I'm going to be talking about.

OK, so the main design decisions on this is we had two criteria to hit: improve the serviceability, and improve the user feel of the drives in the drive bay. The previous model used two solid pieces of metal for the grid system. This was our anti-vibration, our drive mounting, all that rolled into one. But what they were was a piece of metal on top, a piece of metal on the bottom, they fit the drive snugly. That was all great.

However, if you did have to work on something underneath or anything like that, you would have to remove (maybe 15 not a big deal, but 60 would get annoying) all the hard drives. Take both out, fix a bunch of the issues, if there was any, and put it all back together.

So what we chose do with this drive modular drive cage, as you just saw me pull it out of the server there, it's that simple. If you need to get at one of the back planes underneath, you just remove the drives from that row and remove that whole drive cage. So let's take a look at it.

First of all, it's kind of cool to look at. It's not a big long something anymore. So immediately on it, you can see your labels. That's how we identify where the drives are in the system. And the drive guides on the back is where we go for user feel. It's easier to get the drive started and finished all in one. You don't have to try to find the connector.

We got these parts 3D printed. Actually, shout out to Protocase our sister company there. They now have a 3D printed service offering and we were quick to jump onto that for some of our designs. Pays to have a manufacturing fab shop in your backyard. So that's the drive cage. Modular. Easy to take out. Easy to install. Slip it right in there.

So that’s it everyone, that is a quick little overview of all the new features and fun stuff with the new Storinator X model. Hope you enjoyed the video. Just want to say you can buy, quote, build these things now on our website. Check out 45Drives.com or give us a ring. An account manager will walk you through getting your hands on one of our new Storinators and hope you enjoyed this. Can't wait to see everyone using these things and catch you all next week.

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