Options on mounting/using raid drives? (also, how often do they die?)

I am putting together a pc on that dual lga 2011 board from Asus, and I want use the SSd caching features and the onboard raid.

I am asking this as these drives will be used for a lot of miscellaneous things, rendering, file server...blah blah blah...I don't really want to list it as it is not important.

When used  for such things, how often would I expect drives to fail? How often may affect my options for drive mounting/enclosures.

The options I have (that I know of) are:

Internal mounting - The Design XL R2 has 8 bays, enough for a boot ssd, cache ssd, and 6 WD Red drives, I am fine with this as long as the drives will not fail too often, but this will come at a cost to cooling performance.

"hotswap" 5.25 to 3.5 drive bracket - I can only use 3 of the 4 slots as one will be occupied, I can put 5 drives in these...nothing more it seems...Will allow me to swap if the drives happen to not live that long.

External Enclosure - I can get a 4 or 5+ enclosure and set it up using JBOD and then connect it through a eSATA pci bracket to my internal sata ports, (at which point I would use raid) --that is to avoid the poor raid on the enclosure, or the card it may come with-

NAS - Not really feeling this one though...I could get an 8 core SoC atom, 8GB ram, Zalman MS800 or Raidmax Seiran, FreeNAS, use ZFS, 60tb, cram it with hotswap brackets and proceed to destroy the world.


for external I would likely use one of these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817121405 has individual overheat LEDs for overheat, and individual LEDs for power

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816215345 NO overheat LED, power/indicator LEDs

http://www.amazon.com/iStarUSA-BPU-350SATA-BLACK-3x5-25inch-5x3-5inch-HotSwap/dp/B007VLDU8A Only one Overheat LEd for all drives

I would get a 3 drive (2 bay) variation for the raidmax if I were to do nas...and would lose the SuperMicro option.


For external boxes, I would probably get some thing like these:

4 drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816856039 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816111203

5 drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816111166

8 drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816111168 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816132016


The only nice thing about the NAS solution is that I can move my OwnCloud server to that instead and keep to contained...not sure if that is really worth it...

But I am unsure if any of this is necessary at all anyway as I am unsure how often I'll need to replace drives, or if I'd really need more than 16TB (after raid)

Considering the WD Red has a 3 year warranty, I would hope that all or almost all 6 (if you go with that many) would last at least that long. Since you aren't crazy about the idea of a NAS, I think the most elegant solution would be to put all the drives in the tower and configure your airflow accordingly. A RAID 5 solution would be the safest and easiest to replace a broken drive in, but a RAID 10 would be screaming fast with 6 drives.

okay, The motherboard has SSD caching...so I probably would be fine with raid 5-

So you intend to install the OS on the RAID and use the SSD to boost performance? That will probably be a good solution. Another option would be to install the OS and speed critical applications on the SSD and back that up to the RAID.

i will have 2 ssd's, one for the OS and a second for cache

however, my plans have changed and I will no longer be building inside an XL R2.


I am looking at building a build similar to the nas build- as it would allow a smaller tower.

-in that situation- should I invest in a tower and bays, or external JBOD enclosures?

My opinion is that if you're going to have a computer controlling the hard drives, the hard drives may as well be in the system itself. You'll take up less desk space and make it easier to move things when necessary. There are plenty of mid-tower cases that will afford you the space and mounting options to house the number of drives that you're looking at. Choosing one is a matter of personal preference. I'd recommend searching on pcpartpicker.com or newegg.com, watch YouTube videos, and look through some builds on the PC guts threads to find something that works for you. However, I'm not familiar with the form factor of the motherboard (I'm not even sure I'm looking at the right one - this? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131814), so you may run into compatibility issues there.

Wrong motherboard, same form factor.

However, I no longer feel the Dual Xeon build is best at this time an am going for an octa core atom instead.


You said it's best to keep things internal, correct? The smaller form factor or those motherboards allow me get one of the two cases in the original post.


Those cases don't have HDD bays ... Which one of those hotswap 5.25" adapters would be best, you think?


I would be using an Jbod card.