Image: Sabrent

Looking for a quick way of adding vast amounts of additional storage to your system without going through the trouble of building a separate server? A new option has surfaced in the form of the DS-UCTB, a new docking station from storage and peripheral maker Sabrent that towers over its existing options. Users will find not 4, not 5, but 10 bays on the new DS-UCTB, all of which feature a tray-less design for convenience and can be individually switched on/off via power buttons at the front of the unit. Cooling is assisted with a pair of 120 mm fans in the back, while USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C connectivity enables speeds of up to 10 Gbps. Sabrent’s DS-UCTB docking station is available now at Amazon for $599.99.

Sabrent DS-UCTB Features:

  • USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port supports transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
  • 10 x SATA 6 Gbit/s 3.5″ hard drive tray-less bays.
  • High-quality aluminum for optimal heat dissipation and structural integrity.
  • Hot-Swappable with 10 independent ON/OFF power switches.
  • Locking key to prevent accidental bay opening, fully tray-less design.
  • Two 120mm fans for additional cooling capability.
  • Built-in Kensington security slot.
  • Main ON/OFF power switch.
  • NOTE: This multi-bay station does NOT have built in RAID functionality. However, software RAID configurations are possible.

SABRENT 10-Bay 3.5” SATA Hard Drive Tray-Less Docking Station (USB 3.2 Type-C and Type-A) (DS-UCTB) (Amazon)

This SABRENT SATA Hard Drive Tray-Less Docking Station enables you to access 3.5″ hard drives, without the frustration of assembling enclosures. By inserting a 3.5″ SATA hard drive directly into this docking station, you can quickly access drive contents and transfer files. Transfer data quickly and easily through USB 3.2 at speeds up to 10Gbps.

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11 comments

  1. This is pretty cool.

    I still struggle a little with the concept of adding anything but temporary/portable storage via USB.

    USB just seems so whole flimsy and temporary. I prefer more robust interfaces.
  2. USB just seems so whole flimsy and temporary. I prefer more robust interfaces.
    It holds up to mice and keyboards just fine and those get a lot more abuse than a rack of hard drives is going to see.

    I would agree it isn't as robust though -- it has nice peak data transfer, but I think latency and throughput would suffer. It would be nice for those folks just looking to add some bulk storage via the USB port on their router and SMB file sharing - for instance.
  3. It holds up to mice and keyboards just fine and those get a lot more abuse than a rack of hard drives is going to see.

    I would agree it isn't as robust though -- it has nice peak data transfer, but I think latency and throughput would suffer. It would be nice for those folks just looking to add some bulk storage via the USB port on their router and SMB file sharing - for instance.

    Yeah, it also depends on how it's implemented.

    If the OS sees each drive as a USB drive and mounts them as such, you can lose advanced SATA based features.

    If - on the other hand - the OS sees a SATA controller that is connected via USB, and the drives show up as SATA drives, that would be a much better implementation.
  4. So the question is how are the drives seen. Because there is a company, I don't know if you've heard, making 200tb hard drives. You could have.. 1.8 PETABYTES of attache storage!!
  5. I was hoping that this was a regular computer case but it looks like it has no expansion slots on the back. Unfortunately, you don't see computer cases anymore with large numbers of hot-swap bays. The best case I found was made by Lian-Li and had 7 internal hot-swap bays and 5 5.25" bays in the front for DVD drives and other devices. Since that time, I haven't found any case that caters to those with large storage requirements.
  6. I was hoping that this was a regular computer case but it looks like it has no expansion slots on the back. Unfortunately, you don't see computer cases anymore with large numbers of hot-swap bays. The best case I found was made by Lian-Li and had 7 internal hot-swap bays and 5 5.25" bays in the front for DVD drives and other devices. Since that time, I haven't found any case that caters to those with large storage requirements.

    If that's what you want, you'd probably have the most luck searching for pedestal server cases. Some of them come with hot swappable caddies built in, others have a number of external 5.25" bays in which hot swappable modules can be installed. They may make sacrifices in other areas you are used to though, like airflow, fan mounting options, radiator capacity, etc, as they aren't really intended for desktops.

    (Note, not endorsing Newegg, but their categories are still the easiest to search for examples)

    Mass storage has moved away from the client side of things in the last 10-15 years.

    Clients tend to just have enough storage to run their programs and working files, with mass storage occurring on NAS units, or servers, or even in the cloud.
  7. Yeah, it also depends on how it's implemented.

    If the OS sees each drive as a USB drive and mounts them as such, you can lose advanced SATA based features.

    If - on the other hand - the OS sees a SATA controller that is connected via USB, and the drives show up as SATA drives, that would be a much better implementation.
    This. If it shows up in disk mgr as 10 different usb drives... then no thanks. And I suspect it will be that way, instead of some type of embedded sata/usb controller.
  8. Yeah, I've been looking into stuff like this over the last couple of years. A while back there was a business that a friend owned and they had a bunch of 256 GB SATA SSDs they were getting rid of after upgrading their office computers. I was thinking of getting a cheap 10-bay enclosure for RAID and using it for SMB or NAS at home.

    Turns out that's a bit of an oxymoron. Affordable ones are usually around this price or more, and I've read some crazy reviews about them overheating with platters or SSDs, it's nice there are fans but they hardly ever provide additional vents for airflow. If you want one with hardware RAID support then you have to add a couple more hundred to the price.

    I ended up telling them thanks but it's easier and cheaper for me just to buy a large 5-10 TB platter or 2-4 TB SSD. At this point, I'll probably just get something big and plug it right into the router, assuming I don't drop the project altogether.
  9. You could use this for a variety of things - but a NAS / DAS alternative it is not.

    This seems like it'd be pretty useful if one needed to access quite a few 3.5" HDDs at one time. Could be useful for occasionally attended replication and so on. Bit of a niche within a niche though - one would almost never be using bare, single 3.5" HDDs to store data, and if they did, they'd likely not need to have up to ten connected at once.

    Now, for the sake of experimentation, one could absolutely say load up FreeNAS (or more likely TrueNAS Scale, based on Debian) and set up a ZFS array on one of these. Could even pass the device through to a VM running a ZFS-capable OS and do the same - I have seen things.

    But this would still only really be useful for extremely niche circumstances. Performance is likely to be terrible when accessing more than one drive simultaneously, but a ZFS array is extremely portable and can protect against bitrot.

    [and I go back to wondering how the ZFS-on-Windows project is doing...]
  10. You could use this for a variety of things - but a NAS / DAS alternative it is not.

    This seems like it'd be pretty useful if one needed to access quite a few 3.5" HDDs at one time. Could be useful for occasionally attended replication and so on. Bit of a niche within a niche though - one would almost never be using bare, single 3.5" HDDs to store data, and if they did, they'd likely not need to have up to ten connected at once.

    Now, for the sake of experimentation, one could absolutely say load up FreeNAS (or more likely TrueNAS Scale, based on Debian) and set up a ZFS array on one of these. Could even pass the device through to a VM running a ZFS-capable OS and do the same - I have seen things.

    But this would still only really be useful for extremely niche circumstances. Performance is likely to be terrible when accessing more than one drive simultaneously, but a ZFS array is extremely portable and can protect against bitrot.

    [and I go back to wondering how the ZFS-on-Windows project is doing...]

    Yeah, that was what I was thinking it could be useful as.

    A manual, local ZFS backup system.

    Mount the pool of 10 drives and use ZFS Send/Recv to send backups to it, and then disconnect it again.

    Pretty niche, but functional. I've done something similar with a smaller external USB bay I have (4 drives) in the past. These days I just bring it with me on IT calls to friends and family's houses, where I boot up their laptop or whatever, using a Linux USB stick, then I install ZFS and mount the pool on the device via USB and use it to do stuff like image the hard drive using dd.

    So, yeah, these things definitely have uses, but as you say, they are niche.
  11. The best use case I can think of is for it centers to be able to collect data off of several drives at once and Bach consolidate to a different storage location and retire the older singular sata drives.

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