NAS Drives enclosures and software RAID

  • I am planning a home OMV NAS build with 3-4 hard drives in an enclosure connected to a Debian server with software RAID using ZFS. Looking at available drive enclosures, there are enclosures specified as RAID enclosures and other models as non-RAID enclosures. I assume the RAID enclosures would be both redundant and possibly incompatible with software RAID. My questions, as an obvious newbie, are:

    • if the RAID enclosures are not necessary but also not incompatible, would they offer any advantage for my build?
    • the non-RAID enclosure descriptions say "Single Mode" -- what does that mean?
    • do drive enclosures need to provide/support multiple physical connections to the server for performance?

    I'll be very grateful for advice.



  • Welcome to the forum!

    You didn´t mention which interface you intend to use for connecting the external enclosure.

    OMV 3.0.100 (Gray style)

    ASRock Rack C2550D4I C0-stepping - 16GB ECC - 6x WD RED 3TB (ZFS 2x3 Striped RaidZ1) - Fractal Design Node 304 -

    3x WD80EMAZ Snapraid / MergerFS-pool via eSATA - 4-Bay ICYCube MB561U3S-4S with fan-mod

  • I have a 4 bay Raid enclosure connected to a RPi4 using a single USB3 cable. The disks all share the same USB cable. That can be a bottleneck compared to four separate SATA3 connections.

    The enclosure is IB-RD3640SU3. It works fine with the RPi4.

    The enclosure can be configured to use various types of RAID or single mode.

    Using a RAID mode all four drives will appear as one big drive. The exact same model of drive should be used in all bays. (I think... I haven't tested RAID at all.)

    Using single mode all drives appear as single drives, just as if they had been connected using a USB hub.

    I don't use any RAID mode, instead I use single mode.

    I pool the drives using mergerfs. Using mergerfs it is OK to mix sizes of drives. Performance is OK for one or two file transfers. Attempting more results in poor performance due to the single connection bottleneck.

    I think Snapraid would work as well, but might be very slow due to the single connection bottleneck.

    Be smart - be lazy. Clone your rootfs.
    OMV 5: 9 x Odroid HC2 + 1 x Odroid HC1 + 1 x Raspberry Pi 4

  • Thanks cabrio_leo and Adoby.

    I have a good iMac, iPad and laptop and a lot of documents, music, pictures etc. I want a NAS to give all my devices easy access, and also help me to have a solid back-up system.

    I did a Raspberry Pi 4 Kodi build, which is a great success. Then I saw posts about NAS builds on the Pi 4 using OpenMediaVault. My original idea was to do a simple Pi NAS with a couple of 3TB external USB drives I have, and migrate to a better server if necessary. I saw information about the Radxa Quad SATA hat for the Pi 4, using it with OMV. My concern was that the drives would all connect to the Pi via a single USB 3 connection. But looking at drive enclosures I see that they all connect to the server via a single USB or eSATA cable.

    In any case, I want an enclosure and 3 or 4 NAS drives that will be solid and I can connect to whatever server build I end up with. That’s what prompted my questions.

    On the server I’ll use software RAID, probably ZFS, and OMV.

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