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Old 11-29-2017, 08:54 PM   #1
Raevyn
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Separate Disk Drives


Hello

So I was thinking of separating my hard disk storage from the actual physical computer box as I am wanting to have more drive expansion than the case can handle, and I was wondering what others thought of esata speeds and if thats the best way to go. I have also considered buying some components to make an actual file server, but then it runs on ethernet and really its only my computer that needs to access it all. Although can an ethernet connected server map drives to directories? For example, how my linux is how is I use an SSD for everything except /home, which is stored on another drive and I just do links of my main directories (desktop, videos, downloads, etc) to it.
 
Old 11-29-2017, 10:29 PM   #2
frankbell
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I'm not sure whether this is relevant, as esata is a term that is new to me, but I use a number (I think the number is currently 5) of external USB drives for data storage and have found them to work quite nicely for that purpose.

Last edited by frankbell; 11-29-2017 at 10:30 PM.
 
Old 11-30-2017, 01:57 AM   #3
enorbet
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esata = External SATA and several years ago I bought an eSATA powered enclosure for backups, storage and PC repair that includes an SATA DVD drive and (originally) a 1 TB Seagate Barracuda. Along with that for work with older PCs I got a PCI SATA card which I will soon likely have to get a PCI Express version as a few newer PCs don't have PCI slots yet have no external connectors. It has been extremely useful and I really can't detect any speed loss from an internal drive(s) connection. I can even boot from either a LiveCD or the hard drive which is now a 4 TB Barracuda.

It's also very convenient as it is roughly 7 x 7 x 11 (in inches) holds 2 drives and has a fan-cooled power supply. I can leave it connected but powered down and it is as if it doesn't exist but with a push of the power button Linux immediately recognizes new drives and they are all but immediately available in File Managers like Dolphin.

Now for the bad news (sorta). Mine was made by CoolGear but is apparently no longer made but some NOS items are on eBay. Most currently available standalone drive enclosures offer either only USB 3.0 connections or a few have both eSATA and USB 3.0. Since USB 3.0 is up to 5 GB/sec and virtually zero new PCs don't have USB and still many don't have eSATA that shouldn't be a show-stopper but a benefit.

FWIW I considered network attached but I actually preferred hard-wired isolation and the bottleneck these days is the drive speed not the interface. One important note - Most sellers I suppose assume prospective buyers are idiots (or possibly that anyone using Linux knows anyway) and states these items work with a list of Windows and Mac versions and don't bother to list Linux but the bottom line is that the SATA and USB specs are universal regardless of OpSys. I have never had a problem of any sort with my enclosure and I doubt any do with the possible exception of those docks designed for cloning with specific built-in software. I prefer keeping each item simple so that has never been an issue for me.

One more note. It should be obvious and I wish it had been for me years ago that it never pays to scrimp on storage size. Drives are so reliable and space requirements go up so quickly that it just doesn't seem to pay to try to save by buying anything but the biggest drives one can find. Example - I now have some 2 dozen old PATA drives that will probably take me a few full weekends pulling the usable/desired data off them. The job would be less daunting if instead of so many smaller ones it was 4-5 large ones.
 
Old 11-30-2017, 10:00 AM   #4
sundialsvcs
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You can also buy SANs (an improbable moniker for "storage-area network" or "network-attached storage") which are basically self-contained storage engines: controllers, drives, caches, redundant power supplies, and network-based (or fiber-based) attachment to one or more hosts.
 
Old 11-30-2017, 08:30 PM   #5
jefro
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Used to be that iscsi was a pretty good solution for external storage but if you mean local then usb or some other connection would be pretty fast. I had a nas connected to a gig nic and backed up the system fully in 5 minutes.

Last edited by jefro; 11-30-2017 at 08:35 PM.
 
Old 11-30-2017, 09:28 PM   #6
Raevyn
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Wow lots of ideas thanks all! I was thinking of USB but doesnt the throughput drop significantly when more devices are attached to it? Thats why i was thinking of just going esata because its dedicated at least more so right?

My ultimate goal is that I have my office and I want to slowly build hard disk storage on the back wall that can grow with more enclosures and drives which actually as I think about it, can enclosures be daisy chained into one esata port? I was thinking of going in pairs to make raid 1, but the drives themselves dont need to be mounted as different volumes it can all be one. I would be using WD gold drives because platters are still so much cheaper than SSD.
 
Old 12-23-2017, 08:21 AM   #7
sevendogsbsd
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I always use multiple drives. I have one SSD which hosts the OS (Void Linux), another SSD for my user's /home, and one more for my games. I have 3 spinning drives totalling 4 TB that are used for backups. Works perfectly.
 
Old 12-24-2017, 07:57 AM   #8
fatmac
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Don't know if you have considered multiple external USB drives via a USB hub, but you can daisy chain them together.
 
  


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