1.    27 May 2016 #1

    USB 3 dual bay HDD storage with built in RAID


    Hi there

    This is a Brilliant device for people who need to add more storage without having to go NAS route etc etc.

    HornetTek X2-U3 JBOD USB 3.0 (HT-3210U3) - DUAL BAY - JBOD - HDD ENCLOSURES

    Cost 50 EUR -- small -- just a tiny bit bigger than the actual HDD's themseleves (3.5 inch HDD's max 2 X 5TB capacity). In USA you could probably get this box for around 40 - 45 USD.

    There's an internal switch 4 options

    1) Built in RAID 0.

    2) Built in RAID 1.

    3) Independent Disks - run as two independent separate HDD's,

    4) JBOD mode - Just a Bunch of Disks -- aggregates the HDD's into a single volume.

    Simply format HDD's first (Linux / Ios (Mac) / Windows) and then select operating mode. Comes with "Intelligent power" also -- powers off if Host powers off too. Great piece of kit. Note if HDD's already formated just plug them in.

    I'm replacing 2 X 2 TB from a NAS box with 2 X 5 TB HDD's so the 2 X 2 TB will go nicely into this box.

    Really small size, neat and works at full USB3 speed so perfectly OK for backups and even multi media sharing. There's also a switchable Fan if you are worried about heat from HDD's.

    Note though this box doesn't have a 2.5 inch --> 3.5 inch adapter so only 3.5 inch HDD's will fit --also they must be the SATA type (not the old IDE ones -if anybody still uses those).

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    27 May 2016 #2
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Toronto
    Posts : 4,661
    Win 10 Pro x64

    It's a great product but it's not gonna replace a NAS box. The whole idea of a NAS is being able to stream data--- wired or wireless, within home network or via www or mobile apps --- without the aid of a PC. It isn't a NAS box unless it has an ethernet port or built-in wireless adapter.
    This one is a full-featured hard drive enclosure. I almost bought one of these before. Good to have but you don't need RAID if it's via USB.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    27 May 2016 #3

    Quote Originally Posted by badrobot View Post
    It's a great product but it's not gonna replace a NAS box. The whole idea of a NAS is being able to stream data--- wired or wireless, within home network or via www or mobile apps --- without the aid of a PC. It isn't a NAS box unless it has an ethernet port or built-in wireless adapter.
    This one is a full-featured hard drive enclosure. I almost bought one of these before. Good to have but you don't need RAID if it's via USB.
    Hi there

    I'm replacing 2 HDD's in a 4 Bay NAS box - so I needed something to use these old 2 X 2 TB HDD's as extra storage -- using the external box works just fine --I never intended it to replace full blown NAS. I'm actually using a Proliant HP Gen 8 microserver running CENTOS 7 as my NAS. These servers have 2 USB 3 ports on them which I rarely use so again perfect solution. Centos just sees the new box as an extra logical HDD.

    The RAID 0 setting also was perfect since the two drives I removed from the NAS (RAID 0 - one logical HDD) just worked in the new box - no formatting etc required and the logical HDD (RAID 0) was preserved. Speed really fast OK as well.

    If I'd have simply used as 2 X 2 HDD's (no RAID) then I would have had to copy data to other HDD's and then restore to the individual HDD's. In my case was easier simply to preserve RAID and then data copying was fast and easy. Copying 5 TB of data to external HDD and then back to the box would have taken quite a LONG time instead of around 35 mins !!!!. Remember this box is going to sit beside my NAS so it's not going to be moved between computers and data on it is shared via the NAS network anyway. For what I need it's perfect.

    The two new HDD's in the NAS box are 2 X 5 TB HDD's -- the external box is just fine for backups / docs / bog standard file sharing etc etc - I didn't want to waste 2 X 2 TB HDD's and I didn't have any more Bays on the NAS so I think this solution is the most cost effective and space saving solution.

    I just copied old data from the 2 X 2 HDD to the new 10 GB array - no effort, no formatting etc etc --easy peasy and back in business. !!!

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    27 May 2016 #4
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Toronto
    Posts : 4,661
    Win 10 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Hi there

    I'm replacing 2 HDD's in a 4 Bay NAS box - so I needed something to use these old 2 X 2 TB HDD's as extra storage -- using the external box works just fine --I never intended it to replace full blown NAS.

    The RAID 0 setting also was perfect since the two drives I removed from the NAS just worked in the new box - no formatting etc required and the logical HDD (RAID 0) was preserved. Speed really fast OK as well.

    If I'd have simply used as 2 X 2 HDD's (no RAID) then I would have had to copy data to other HDD's and then restore to the individual HDD's. In my case was easier simply to preserve RAID and then data copying was fast and easy. Copying 5 TB of data to external HDD and then back to the box would have taken quite a LONG time instead of around 35 mins !!!!. Remember this box is going to sit beside my NAS so it's not going to be moved between computers and data on it is shared via the NAS network anyway. For what I need it's perfect.

    The two new HDD's in the NAS box are 2 X 5 TB HDD's -- the external box is just fine for backups / docs / bog standard file sharing etc etc - I didn't want to waste 2 X 2 TB HDD's and I didn't have any more Bays on the NAS so I think this solution is the most cost effective and space saving solution.

    I just copied old data from the 2 X 2 HDD to the new 10 GB array - no effort, no formatting etc etc --easy peasy and back in business. !!!

    Cheers
    jimbo
    If your NAS box has USB 3.0 expansion port, it would be a good idea to connect your enclosure there.

    That's what I did on mine. I connected two USB 3.0 external storage on my Qnap NAS and I can also access the two external storage from anywhere around the world.

    I still have 2 available eSata ports for future expansion at the back of my Qnap.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WP_20150819_18_58_31_Pro.jpg  
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  5.    27 May 2016 #5

    Quote Originally Posted by badrobot View Post
    If your NAS box has USB 3.0 expansion port, it would be a good idea to connect your enclosure there.

    That's what I did on mine. I connected two USB 3.0 external storage on my Qnap NAS and I can also access the two external storage from anywhere around the world.
    Hi there

    that's what I've done - but I've got the two HDD's as one Logical HDD (RAID 0) -- also from the box there's only ONE USB3 output even if you use the drives as "individual drives" - so I've still got a spare USB3 port on the NAS server. !!

    The box is HP Proliant Gen 8 Microserver running CENTOS 7 -- great OS - not a single smidgen of problem with it and it works 100% every time - no problem for Windows etc to access shares and streaming apps such as PLEX.

    There's no e-sata external connectors but I have another USB 3 Port available and 4 X USB 2 ports if required - I think though my storage should no be sufficient for a LONG time (20 TB on NAS -- 4 X 5 TB and 4 TB on the external box).

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    27 May 2016 #6
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Toronto
    Posts : 4,661
    Win 10 Pro x64

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Hi there

    that's what I've done - but I've got the two HDD's as one Logical HDD (RAID 0) -- also from the box there's only ONE USB3 output even if you use the drives as "individual drives" - so I've still got a spare USB3 port on the NAS server. !!

    The box is HP Proliant Gen 8 Microserver running CENTOS 7 -- great OS - not a single smidgen of problem with it and it works 100% every time - no problem for Windows etc to access shares and streaming apps such as PLEX.

    There's no e-sata external connectors but I have another USB 3 Port available and 4 X USB 2 ports if required - I think though my storage should no be sufficient for a LONG time (20 TB on NAS -- 4 X 5 TB and 4 TB on the external box).

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Yeah, I am not the type who will go for more than 2TBs each drive and put everything on a single volume. I've categorized my files and each have their own storage. All my important data are on the NAS (4TB or 2x2TBs). Then all photos are on the attached 2TB external storage and videos on another 2TB external storage. I figured, videos put a lot of stress on the hard drive (esp when streaming) and I wanna make sure it won't kill my data with it in time so I stored them separately. Old photos are on "archive" drives (not in enclosure). I just use my hard drive dock to access the content on those drives.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    28 May 2016 #7

    Hi there.

    there's even a switchable fan on the box -- I've run the box for days at a time without the HDD's getting even more than slightly warm -- but if you are in a hot place / room the fan works just fine -- although obviously noiser than running in "silent mode".

    On the main machine the hardware actually identifies itself as a "USB-->SATA Bridge" if you want to attach this type of device to a VM.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    No drivers needed for Windows, Mac/apple or Linux --very satisfactory piece of kit --50 EUR well spent IMO. Probably cheaper where you are especially if you are in USA / Hong Kong / S.Korea etc.

    @badrobot -- simply using this as a mass storage device - the RAID 0 just makes it convenient to have the whole kybosh working as a fast "Single drive" -- I'm not too worried about it failing as now I've tested it and transferred data to the bigger HDD's in my server this will simply be used for archival type stuff and temporary storage as and when. To me it was a great way of using old drives. Good place also to store VM's on also. the hardware RAID is really fast -- getting over 300 Mib/s transfer from the USB 3 slot !!!!! even for large files. (Internal hardware switch sets HDD mode of operation).

    The hardware will support USB 3.1 as well -- you'll need HDD's with 128MB cache though and then you could theoretically get over 1 Gb/s (bits/sec) assuming your MOBO can support USB 3.1 bus speeds.

    My HDD's are the older slower type with small cache (another reason I replaced them on the server with newer ones) so the 300 mib/s transfer is fine.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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