Converting USB 3.0 Hardrive enclosure into a OMV NAS

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    • Converting USB 3.0 Hardrive enclosure into a OMV NAS

      I had been researching ways to make a smaller OMV based NAS to replace the one that I already had at my brothers house for hosting my backups, so when that original solution died late December I quickly put my plan into action. Because of the limits of my upload speeds, and his download speeds, I didn't need something that moves super fast, so I ended up going with a Rpi, though I purposely put my solution together so that I can upgrade to another, more powerful SBC in the the future if need be. It took me probably 8+ hours to put this guy together, but I am hoping that it will last me long into the future, with only occasionally replacing the SBC. Here is a list of parts that I used, not including data drives.

      The hardrive enclosure…_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      USB A 3.0 right angle extension cable.…_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      USB B 3.0 right angle extension cable…_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      RJ45 jacks…_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      Right angle micro USB cable…_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      SATA power extension cable…_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      Epoxy Putty…_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      So here is what the final project looks like all buttoned up. Besides looking at the back, you can barely tell that I changed anything from the outside.

      Here is a peak at the modifications that I had to make on the inside. I glued the USB extender, SATA extender and a short ethernet cable I made all onto a small piece of wood the size of a hardrive so that I can place the SBC onto the board, sort my cables out and hold them together with tape. Then just insert the hole thing into the case to connect it to everything that I need it to connect with. I purposely left several of the cables on this board long so that I could easily upgrade to a different SBC in the future.

      For anyone concerned about the pi not getting enough power with this setup through the SATA power, here is my experience with that. When I initially put this together, I was using a 2.5 USB hardrive as one of my storage disks since I had it lying around when I put my first backup server together. This was powered 100% through it's USB connection to the pi with no problems. As a stress test to the build as a whole, and because I didn't want to stick with the 2.5 USB hardrive in there long term, I rsync'ed the 900 GB of data from the 2.5 drive, to it's current home on a standard 3.5 drive all in one shot. So over a 14 hour period of all the power and heat stress that I could throw at this thing, it didn't have a single problem. Since all my hardrives are now powered through the enclosure, I don't anticipate any long term problems with the pi not getting enough power.

      Below is a link to the full size photo's just in case anyone wants to inspect them in detail.…HaG13bjBjdERhY2RQQm9URTl3
    • ODROID was more power than I needed since I am limited by my internet's upload speed of 20 Mbps. I've clocked this pi build transferring 4 times that speed while I was testing at home so it is more than enough. You could probably get a similar build to work with an ODROID board as long as you got a heatsink that was short enough. Knowing what I know now though, I would have used a Rock64 since they are the same price as a pi but with Gig Ethernet and USB 3.0, but I didn't know about those boards when I started this build.
    • fognar wrote:

      ODROID was more power than I needed since I am limited by my internet's upload speed of 20 Mbps

      Well, to me it seems an ODROID-HC2 is still way less expensive and also a lot more reliable compared to your build?

      Since you're building a backup device. The most important part about backup is called restore. Then you usually need very high tranfer rates and don't want anything to be interrupted by hardware hassles (using an RPi is asking for troubles)

      This restore thing is something generally overlooked. I even dealt with companies using backup appliances connected that crappy that a full restore would've taken 3 weeks. IMO a backup you can't access in a timely manner is almost the same as no backup.
    • For me, with the data I currently have, who it's for and how often it's used, quick restores aren't high on my priority list. I could loose all the data on one or both of my main servers data drives and have it be down for several weeks before I get it restored and all that would happen is a few people would be bummed. Managing my WAN bandwidth usage is a high priority though since I have a 1TB monthly cap and going over it cost's me an extra fee.

      I am currently storing and backing up about 3 TB of data and it's increasing every week, so my plan for restoring anything more than a few GB worth of data is to actually bring the enclosure back to my home and simply plug it in via USB 3.0 directly to my server and bypass the pi altogether. All I have to do is unplug the cable going to the pi, plug the original cable into my server and then change the destination for the backup to start the restore. It's a workable plan that saves me the trouble of fitting a larger SBC that's harder to cool for extra performance that I wouldn't be able to use 95% of the time, and don't really need the other 5%.

      I am not trying to say that using a pi 3b the way I did here is going to work for everyone, or even that it's the best solution for my needs(now that I know about the Rock64, I wish I went with that), Just that it works for right now with all the performance I need. Either way I did also leave my setup open enough were I should be able to adapt to a different SBC possibly even an Odroid, by simply splicing in a new end on the SATA power cable lead. I also learned, from my last backup server crashing, and backed up all the important OMV settings so I don't have to reinvent the wheel if this setup dies on me and I decide to switch to something else.

      All I wanted to do was show off the work I did with the enclosure since I couldn't find anyone else taking an existing USB Hardrive enclosure and turning it into a NAS without cords hanging out everywhere. There maybe a reason no one else has done something like this, but I guess only time will tell.