Looking to build a 8+ bay external enclosure

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by Jeffman, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. Jeffman

    Jeffman Gawd

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    Hey everyone,

    I'm wondering if there's a good way to build something that will house 8 or more 3.5" drives and allow me to connect it via USB 3.0? I have a small powered micro PC already serving as a Plex Server, I just need to be able to connect more disks to it somehow.

    I'm open to other suggestions, USB or network. I'd even consider something pre-built, I just want it to be easy to use, somewhat easy to replace failing parts, and hopefully no more than $500. I don't need all the functionality of a NAS, as I don't want to run RAID. I want the disks to be seen independently in the OS.

    Any ideas?

    EDIT: I should add, I don't want any rack mount cases. Something that is as small of a footprint as possible. A normal tower computer sized case would be okay if it needs to come to that.
     
  2. mwroobel

    mwroobel [H]ardness Supreme

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    8 Bay, Under $500 is going to be a build-your-own. Get yourself a Fractal Node 804, a mini-itx or micro-atx motherboard, RAM & CPU and a cheap HBA. Get a good CPU and you could make that a self contained Plex box and repurpose your other machine.I know you said you don't want RAID, but a good idea would be running on of the all-in-one Opensolaris releases with ZFS, whether you decide to run with redundancy or not. It will give you a set-it-and-forget-it NAS box which is perfect for plex. If you don't want to build, get a Synology for around $920 for the 1817+.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  3. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 Limp Gawd

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    Are you wanting the storage box to be a plex host still? or just serve up storage?

    If you're just looking for essentially an external USB 3.0 enclosure I recommend the Mediasonic ones for $270. http://a.co/d/fGRZLuk

    If you wanted to cut costs the 4 bay option is cheaper with less features but sounds like it would still work for what you want: http://a.co/d/9q078iu
    I had this 4 bay version for years that worked great in JBOD for a similar purpose, you could get 2 of them for $100 each if you have enough USB ports you could add on a PCI-e USB3 card if you don't as well (note the 4 bay uses a non standard power connector though).

    They just released a new 4 bay revision for $120 as well: http://a.co/d/aZKxxNe

    If you're more open to addional features/connectors they have other 4 bay options in the 150$ range too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  4. Jeffman

    Jeffman Gawd

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    I'll check these options out. Not exactly what I wanted to do...but if it fits the bill then I'm okay with it.

    I've checked these out. My main concern is that reviews stated (on the 8 bay model, I think I read it on Newegg) that if one disk is failing, the entire JBOD drops. I actually have the old version of the 4 bay one now, running as a JBOD for my Plex storage. Just needed to upgrade to more disks. The 8 bay version will work for my needs, it's just concerning with the reviews. I have 3 8TB disks almost full, and I still have maybe 600 blurays left to rip from my collection. I'm looking for 8-10 disk expansion so I can do a full backup of what I will assume to be 4-5 disks full of data.
     
  5. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 Limp Gawd

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    Fair enough there are always other brand options like startech's version http://a.co/d/7XXsGBg it has worse reviews though, I think that disconnect/drop is a effect of using USB 3.0 as its not a hot swappable connection.
    You shouldn't have that issue if you use eSATA as the connection instead.
     
  6. Jeffman

    Jeffman Gawd

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    Wow I guess I wasn't aware of that USB 3.0 limitation. In that case the 8-bay is probably the best/cheapest option. I'd go with eSATA, however this PC I'm using doesn't have that built in and there's no way to add it. It's an HP EliteDesk Mini PC.
     
  7. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 Limp Gawd

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    There are esata pci/pcie cards available I’m pretty sure if you have available slots. Otherwise I’m not sure your options what model of elitedesk is it?
     
  8. Jeffman

    Jeffman Gawd

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    800 G2. It's the super small one, no open slots on it at all. I can only do USB.
     
  9. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 Limp Gawd

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    Yep no internal expansion slots, USB 3.0 is your only option looks like.
    Your best bet then is the most cost efficient and/or highest rated enclosure likely.