Are there any NAS system that can work off the USB external drive without shucking it?

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Jonnydangerdude

New Around Here
Are there any NAS system that can work off the USB external drive without shucking it?

Perhaps some kind of box filled with USB ports that you can plug in like 8 external hard drives into and work on some kind of raid configuration?

If not, is there some reason why one does not exist like a technical limitation?

Thanks.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
I don't know what you mean by "shucking it". Such a system would have limited performance due to USB bandwidth limitations.

There are devices that will network-share a single USB drive over Wi-Fi. But none I know of that support RAID.
 

Jonnydangerdude

New Around Here
I don't know what you mean by "shucking it". Such a system would have limited performance due to USB bandwidth limitations.

There are devices that will network-share a single USB drive over Wi-Fi. But none I know of that support RAID.
" Shucking, as the practice has come to be known, is the process of buying an external drive, opening it up, and removing the bare drive "

In this case, removing the internal drive to use for a NAS. Its a pain, time consuming and delicate process to do this.

USB 3.0 is the third major version of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard for interfacing computers and electronic devices. Among other improvements, USB 3.0 adds the new transfer rate referred to as SuperSpeed USB (SS) that can transfer data at up to 5 Gbit/s (625 MB/s), which is about 10 times faster than the USB 2.0 standard.

SATA I (revision 1.x) interface, formally known as SATA 1.5Gb/s, is the first generation SATA interface running at 1.5 Gb/s. The bandwidth throughput, which is supported by the interface, is up to 150MB/s.

SATA II (revision 2.x) interface, formally known as SATA 3Gb/s, is a second generation SATA interface running at 3.0 Gb/s. The bandwidth throughput, which is supported by the interface, is up to 300MB/s.

SATA III (revision 3.x) interface, formally known as SATA 6Gb/s, is a third generation SATA interface running at 6.0Gb/s. The bandwidth throughput, which is supported by the interface, is up to 600MB/s. This interface is backwards compatible with SATA 3 Gb/s interface

Seem that the new USB is comparable to SATA. Someone like me is more concerned about storage for archiving tons of information more so then blazing speed. I would be willing to take a performance hit to get Triple the hard drive space on a NAS.

Is speed the only reason why USB are not used? Perhaps they are not considering the new 3.0 USB speed standard.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Your statement that USB is comparable to SATA is not correct. Except for the specifications, there is a marked difference between USB powered anything and an internally installed SATA drive.

What you are asking for is more than half the cost of a NAS (the drives) without any of the benefits.

Buy a proper NAS (QNAP or Synology) instead, and don't try to recreate the wheel at the 'less square' level. :)
 

Jonnydangerdude

New Around Here
Your statement that USB is comparable to SATA is not correct. Except for the specifications, there is a marked difference between USB powered anything and an internally installed SATA drive.

What you are asking for is more than half the cost of a NAS (the drives) without any of the benefits.

Buy a proper NAS (QNAP or Synology) instead, and don't try to recreate the wheel at the 'less square' level. :)
According to wikipedia "

  • Transfer speed – USB 3.0 adds a new transfer type called SuperSpeed or SS, 5 Gbit/s (electrically, it is more similar to PCI Express 2.0 and SATA than USB 2.0)[8]
" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_3.0

Are you saying wikipedia is incorrect?


External hard drives with USB 3.0 are made to connect to your PC and used just like another hard drive in your PC.

USB 3.0 5 Gbit/s
SATA II 3.0 Gb/s.
SATA III 6.0Gb/s


So USB option faster then SATA 1 and 2 but slightly slower then SATA 3.

What is there not support for USB RAID besides " not being fast enough" for some reason?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
No, I am not disputing the facts presented. I am trying to tell you that those metrics are not what determines how fast they are in a NAS environment.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
It's true that USB can be capable of very high transfer rates but I think that there's just not a market for such a device.

All these high speed USB devices are just normal HDD/SSD's with a SATA/PCIe to USB bus controller. It's cheaper and more efficient to just connect the device to the host using it's native interface. USB is more suited to ad-hoc or temporary storage solutions rather than permanent server setups.
 

dosborne

Very Senior Member
Many NAS units, my QNAP for example, has a usb port (actually 5 ports) that can be used to expand the capacity and capabilities by adding either usb drives or expansion units.

At one point I also did play around with an 8-port usb hub and a number of drives with some open source software. It did require a raspberry Pi (or PC) to run it, but was a fun project.

Personally, I prefer a proper NAS with the drives enclosed in the NAS, safe and secure. If anything, I've gone the other way. All my drives are internal drives, but I do connect them via a usb-sata cable or external enclosure for specific projects now and then.
 
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Jonnydangerdude

New Around Here
It's true that USB can be capable of very high transfer rates but I think that there's just not a market for such a device.

All these high speed USB devices are just normal HDD/SSD's with a SATA/PCIe to USB bus controller. It's cheaper and more efficient to just connect the device to the host using it's native interface. USB is more suited to ad-hoc or temporary storage solutions rather than permanent server setups.
If you are building an 18-24 drive readynas, its cheaper to line up some external hard drives and plug them into a NAS with a ton of hard drives rather then spend $15,000 on some enterprise rack mounted solution.

Some people value massive raw dataspace for archiving rather then some kind of lightning fast enterprise unit. Perhaps to have certain files available that you may access once a year or maybe not even that.

As someone who own Synology, Readynas, Buffalo and parts to build a Unraid system. I can tell you I would love to expand a raid system by adding some external hard drives to the USB ports.
 

Jonnydangerdude

New Around Here
Many NAS units, my QNAP for example, has a usb port (actually 5 ports) that can be used to expand the capacity and capabilities by adding either usb drives or expansion units.

At one point I also did play around with an 8-port usb hub and a number of drives with some open source software. It did require a raspberry Pi (or PC) to run it, but was a fun project.

Personally, I prefer a proper NAS with the drives enclosed in the NAS, safe and secure. If anything, I've gone the other way. All my drives are internal drives, but I do connect them via a usb-sata cable or external enclosure for specific projects now and then.
Can you give me a link or let me know the model number of that QNAP with that ability?

When you say that you can " expand the capacity" of the Qnap nas, are you talking about adding an external hard drive that incorporates into the RAID array or that it will just add an a regular hard drive to the network?

What software did you use with your 8-port USB hub that let this happen. This was a RAID setup or JBOD?

Thanks.
 

dosborne

Very Senior Member
Pretty much all of the QNAP units have a usb port as far as I know. Specifically, my TS-563 has 4x usb on the back used to connect to an expansion bay and one on the front. Although you can use a usb HDD on any of the ports, I would be extremely surprised if you could build it into an array or raid. In all honesty, I know the ports are there but haven't bothered looking to see what I can do with them as I tend to just buy another whole NAS when it's time to increase capacity. My current main unit should last me a few years though as I'm only about 60% capacity on the 50TB :)

Sorry, I don't recall the name of the software I had to build an array. All I recall was in ran on Linux and was about 10 years ago. Performance was terrible. The project likely failed as long term it really wasn't viable and opennas or freenas was the way to go. I would be surprised if something existed in the raspberry Pi world though.
 

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