New to forum; Looking for input/advice on my server

Not sure which section to post this in so I’ll try here.

I have a HP ML350 G6 tower server in my basement. It’s running Win10 Pro and handles Plex, Sonarr/Radarr/SABnzbd. 1x E5645, 8GB RAM. 1TB HDD for OS & Apps, 1x 6TB HDD for Media Storage.

I chose Win 10 for 2 reasons - familiarity and RDP. While setting up some extra stuff like Nginx for Organizr I started to regret that because all the support/documentation was geared towards Linux but I implemented a number of workarounds (and naturally haven’t the foggiest idea what I did 18 -24 months ago so here’s hoping it never dies).

I’m coming up to a point where my 6TB is filling up. Probably within the next 6-8 weeks I’ll need to install a new one, so I figure this is as good a time as any to take a step back and decide whether to change my hardware/software setup or just add another drive and keep going.

Here’s the documentation for the server:

I had a read it before purchasing the system and, not knowing any better, thought the 6 SATA connectors on the mobo would be more than enough for my drives. Well they’re severely hobbled - I’m only getting SATA I or II speeds. I guess they were intended for Optical Drives only (who tf needs 6 ODDs).

I could hook up another HDD to the SATA ports and continue with the setup I have although I’m out of SATA power cables so I would need a SATA splitter which I’m wary of.

I’m looking into getting an LFF cage and a SAS HBA card but I’m not really sure what I’m doing.

I could get the LFF cage/backplane - ebay example and an SAS HBA card (ebay example)

Then move all my disks to the cage and have better cable management and hopefully speed?

Alternatively I could just buy/build another system. I know the HP 290 is well regarded here but it only has space for 1 internal 3.5" and I would like at least 3 so I would need another machine purely for housing disks which is not ideal. And I would probably end up buying an SAS card and drive enclosure as well which is back to square 1.

EDIT: Well I did a bit more research (I guess quarantine is good for something) and spent some money, hopefully I can get it all working and I didn’t buy crap that won’t work! $80 Canadian (around $55 US) for the LFF Cage and a Dell H200 flashed to IT mode. Not enough of a spend to build anything better with so if it works out I should be happy for the next while - 4 more 3.5" bays than I currently have at least.

One of mine is the same base setup, ML350 Gen 6 that I got for craigslist for a steal. I ended up putting an icy dock a three-bay 3.5" in two of the open 5.25-in bays. Along with the SFF drive bay that came in running on the standard backplane. I threw in another PCI SIIS SATA controller card that I had laying around because I wanted to keep the OG SFF setup running. It’s a pain in the asterisk. I also have a flash use the PCI slots instead of trying to use the motherboard because it is quite antiquated. I really don’t have anything important going on this computer right now, but I would love to get that up as an ass later. I did upgrade mine with a second process from ebay and I had a few 16GB sticks of RAM laying around and a local guy on CL was selling 72 2.5" drives for $100, so I picked that up too.

My final setup is I’m running dual E5530s, 128 GB of RAM, 5 x 72GB 2.5", 3 x 146GB 2.5", 1 x 500 GB for unRAID testing and 2 x 8TB 3.5’’ and I picked up the 4 x 200 PCI flash drive.

Basically, I turned my cheap, CL server into a money pit!!!

ML350-Gen-6