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Chris Cowles

4 bay external drive enclosure?

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Hello. I'm running Windows Server Essentials 2016 on an HP N40L Microserver. 4 WD Red drives of varying sizes are combined into two pools using DrivePool.

I'm looking into moving the WSE install onto an Intel NUC 5i5RYH. It has an M.2 SDD for the OS and a 2.5" HDD for data. I'd like to attach a 4 bay HDD enclosure by way of the USB 3.0 port, so WSE and DrivePool see the WD Reds as individual drives. That way DrivePool can rebuild the pools.

I found MediaSonic and StarTech USB 3.0 enclosures that appear satisfactory for my purpose, but won't restart automatically if there's a power failure. Does anyone have any suggestions for alternate enclosure hardware? Ideally, the power supply would be self contained, but that's not a hard requirement. Being low power and low noise is, though.

Thanks

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Just be aware that USB connections fail sometimes. I believe USB enclosures are not recommended and I think you'll find cases here where the use of these caused serious issues for some. AFAIK, eSATA would be preferable.

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4 hours ago, Umfriend said:

... eSATA would be preferable.

Unfortunately, the NUC I already have does not have an eSATA port. If Thunderbolt is an option, is it more reliable than USB 3.0?

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I don't know. My experience with Thunderbolt is underwhelming, especially w.r.t. stability of USB and network (in this case a laptop connected to a Thunderbolt docking station) but that may be just me.

TBH, it just does not seem like such a good idea to me. Installing WSE2016 on consumer hardware may pose issues (although I got it running easily on such hardware) and it seems relatively expensive to me as you would have the enclosure close to the NUC anyway. I realise it is an attractive form factor but only if it can stand alone. I would reconsider. There are many options for cases so it comes to what you need/want relating to real estate basically. Just my 2 cents.

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