I recently purchased a few 500GB Lacie Quadra external hard drives. These things are the step up from the Lacie triple interface drives, they now include an e-SATA connection which I’ll probably never use but it’s nice to know it’s there. I personally made use of the FireWire 800 ports on my Xserve. It was very fast and worked great. Unfortunately with my move to using a Mac mini as a server, I was unable to use the FireWire 800 ports (or so I thought), because the Mac mini only has USB 2.0 and a single Firewire 400 port on it.
Well, after pondering for a bit, I thought it might be possible to connect the hard drives together via FireWire 800 and then connect them to the server via FireWire 400. After doing some research, I found nothing useful so I decided just to try it. Of course I didn’t try it on my server; I tried it with another set of drives I have connected to my workstation.
Believe it or not, the setup works. You can connect your drives together via FireWire 800 and then connect them to your server or client machine via the FireWire 400 port. Now I’ve only tried this on the Lacie Quadra drives, so I cannot speak for other drives. I guess the drives enclosure chip set and Firewire bridge play nice and talk to each other which is great.
Feel free to let me know if there are other drives that allow this to be done. It sure is nice that I can now continue to add on more drives and not have to worry about running out of ports. Later this weekend I’ll be reconfiguring my Quadra drives on the server to use this type of connection setup.