This is basically a follow up to the super interesting before published on youtube
“Can we build a home server out of mini PCs?” from Level1Techs
I have recently migrated by core “always on” VMs from a massive server to one of these mini PC running a ryzen 5800U with 64GB of RAM and it works absolutely flawlessly, while consumming a lot less power than it used to on my big server. The only workload I could not move the same way was my truenas VM with 4 16TB drives. This one I moved to bare metal on a older intel machine and it works but I would love to be able to “revirtualize” it so that I don t need this extra machine anymore. I have been looking at how to connect these 4 sata drives to my mini pc including finding NVME to PCI-E adatpers but then settle on the fact that using a USB-C enclosure, capable of 10Gb, would be the best and most practical solution.
I started to explore enclosure options but quickly abandoned since I was seeing a lot of bad comments on amazon, and almost no one talking about a use involving ZFS … that s why when I did see the mentioned video, this revived my hopes !
Now that we are getting very close to Black Friday I was hoping to understand which enclosure I should be targeting and it is even more complex since they almost never advertise the chipset they are using
For now I have seen:
Sabrent DS-SC4B or DS-SC5B
Icy Box IB-3805-C31 (looks very very vers similar in look to the Sabrent ? same OEM ?)
Yottamaster FS5C3 or FS4C3
OWC Mercury Elite Pro Quad
Icy Box IB-3740-C31
Fantec QB-35U31 (looks similar to the mediasonic mentioned in the video but that I could not find here)
Does any of you have experience with these enclosures ? Or another one you would recommend for that purpose ?
Are you referring to the asustor AS4004T ? I guess this would work well but it is not the best solution for me since my mini pc does not have a 10GB ethernet connection (just a 2.5 one) and I will not be able to use Truenas on this NAS or is it possible ?
Welcome to the L1 forums!!! does the mini pc you are using have a m2 slot that you are not utilizing? if so you can utilize those pcie lanes with m2 → 10gbe card. Wendell did a great video concerning some useful work arounds. I link the video here it might give you some ideas video link
Thanks a lot. Will be watching it immediately
The mini pc I am using has a single full size nvme slot used for the system disk. I have another second slot but type key-E populated by a wifi-ble card that I don’t use if an adapter exists
But I got exited by your video on external enclosure Did I understand properly Wendel answer ? Was he talking about a NAS instead of a DAS ? Or is there an asustor DAS enclosure that I did not find out ?
@wendell when you say nicer you mean look and feel ? or actually performance and stability ? The Asus model you pictured seems not to be available (yet) in Europe and on import it would cost 2.5 x more than the mediasonic you used in your initial video (which I found to be exactly the same model as the Icy Box IB-3740-C31 I referred to in my original message)
It will end up in a closet so I don’t really care about how it looks but I care for sure about stability ! Thanks !
Do you know by chance the IB-3804-C31 (seems to be same as Sabrent DS-SC4B) ? Seems to be sold here until the brand “Raidsonic Icy Box”. Looks like a more premium version all in metal, with options to daisy chain as well as an integrated PSU (not sure that this one is a plus actually). ? It is 70 USD more than the IB-3740-C31 (same as the one tested on video)
We just went from a 4-bay ICY BOX (the one with 3.1 and eSATA) to a Terramaster D6-320, and it’s a night and day difference.
The ICY BOX doesn’t show up properly in /dev/disk/by-id and wouldn’t work in TrueNAS (we use Fedora + OpenZFS though).
The ICY BOX is slow when using concurrent access. Running dd to read simultaniously it goes from 150 MB/s to a crawling 60 MB/s per drive if all 4 are reading. This thing sucks for ZFS!
The Terramaster has been the complete opposite experience. Shows up in FS tree with serial number with ata prefix and wxn identifier.
Our drives (4x4 IronWolf 4TB raidz1) went from barely 60-70MB/s reads and 90MB/s writes on Samba to saturating a 2.5 GbE link for reading (beyond 300 MB/s) and reaching ~180MB/s for writes.
It scrubs at ~560MB/s now.
Topology wise, it seems to be serveral ASMedia ASM1051E chained together over a 3.2 hub.
I thought ZFS was much slower than it is because we’ve been using terrible direct attached storage! We started out with two drives in a Sabrent open dock and it was about the same level of terrible as the ICY BOX.
Thats exactly what I wanted to know. Thats bad ass! This is a neat little option for rando corp desktop recycling. I used to do that for FreeNAS all the time. But it fell out of favor in the community. This makes it viable again IMO.
The USB-C ICY BOX (ICY BOX is the brand, RaidSonic GmbH the company) uses a VIA USB Hub and a VIA SATA controller presumably per bay. They do actually put it in their datasheet. It would definitely be worth comparing since most other known good enclosures use ASMedia controllers.
The Terramaster D6-320 Looks indeed nice but too expensive for the use I need it for (around 500usd here). Don’t understand why their 4 bays are still on 5Gbs … the only 10Gbs enclosure seems to be the 6 bays … the ice box /sabrent I was contemplating is 10Gbs so not the same you refer here. Your messages only confirm what I thought very difficult to choose a good 4 bays enclosure for such a use case !