[SOLVED] NAS HDD/box recommendations?

cteno

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About to order a Lenovo ThinkStation P330 SFF. The "small form factor" suits our crowded work area, but only holds one HDD in addition to the SSD boot drive. For some reason, Lenovo only offers up to a 2TB hard drive as a build option. So I plan to add two more drives externally: one for large amounts of occasional-use data, the other for auto backups.

In one existing setup, we're using a pair of WD Red 4TB drives, chosen for reliability since they usually run 18 hours/day or around the clock. The 5400 RPM speed is fine for our uses. (No gaming in the office...) They sit in a Sabrent USB 3.0 to SATA I/II/III Dual Bay External Hard Drive Docking Station. It all seems to work OK. But forum articles and company sites say that these server-oriented drives are not optimal for small office use, since they don't make multiple recovery attempts.

Could anyone please suggest a better option for this kind of attached storage? Noise and heat should be kept down, especially noise. Cost is much less important than reliability, though we can't afford SSD in those sizes. And access speed really doesn't matter here.

Thanks in advance for your guidance.
 

kanewolf

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First you don't seem to want a NAS (network attached storage) you want a DAS (direct attached storage). Lenovo has a Thunderbolt card available as an option. That would provide the best performance for your direct attached storage.
 

kanewolf

Titan
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First you don't seem to want a NAS (network attached storage) you want a DAS (direct attached storage). Lenovo has a Thunderbolt card available as an option. That would provide the best performance for your direct attached storage.
 

cteno

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Much obliged for your advice, kanewolf. Please forgive my ignorance of terminology. I guess that what we're doing now is a form of DAS, but via USB.

I'd prefer a more direct approach, as you suggest. Unfortunately, the Lenovo Thunderbolt page (https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/solutions/acc100104) doesn't list the P330 series among compatible ThinkStation models. I called Lenovo; they say that the card is discontinued, with no replacement announces. They did suggest using one of the PCIe connectors, but didn't have a specific recommendation. Does it make sense to connect some kind of PCIe-to-SATA adapter with an external HDD? Again, the current USB system seems to work fine; only issue is making very large backups - even USB3 takes a while to pass a couple of TB.

Thanks again-
 

cteno

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It might be worth an e-mail to Lenovo to ask. Maybe the US webpage is just not up-to-date.
I did have a phone chat with a Lenovo agent, who spent close to ten minutes querying the back-room tech people. He said that the Thunderbolt card was discontinued in 2014 - still works with the models listed on the page linked above, but not the newer P330 series. He said that something might eventually be offered.

Other than transfer speed, is there any great disadvantage to using USB3 and an HDD docking station?

Thanks.
 
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