Looking for External RAID Enclosure advice/second opinion(s)

Hi Tom's! First time poster, long time creeper.

Currently on my PC I have a hodgepodge of movies, music and TV shows spread across multiple drives of varying sizes (JBOD configuration :P). Recently this has become slightly annoying and I am looking to setup some new hdd's in RAID 5 in a new enclosure. I would not be devastated if everything in this array was destroyed but I would at least enjoy the option to attempt to recover if one of my HDD's failed.

I do have a few questions about RAID 5 however. (I have run RAID 0, 1, and 1+0 before but nothing outside of those)

1) Is there a simple way for me to add additional drives to the array if/when I need more storage space without having to completely offload all the data on it? (I understand that this will be a very time consuming process probably involving the re-indexing of all the parody bits).

2) With regards to the HDD's I am currently looking at either 6 2TB HDD's or 4 3TB HDD's. I know that I will get 1TB more storage space going with the 6x2 setup however do more HDD's provide more security? (Or a greater chance for failure?)

I am considering this external enclosure currently. Does anyone have any thoughts or other suggestions? (I'd prefer to stick to a more well known online retailer such as NewEgg or Amazon)

Also for HDD's I'm looking at either this 2TB drive or this 3TB drive. (I have no HDD manufacture preference, those just both happened to be Seagates).

Total Budget for this project around $1400. Obviously I'd enjoy saving money where I can but I'm not opposed to paying a little extra for some quality products if anyone has some good recommendations!

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  1. JBOD is for people who really hate their data, fyi, since a single failure will wipe out all data.

    1) No, the array will have to be rebuilt on the drive.

    2) More HDD's don't really provide any additional security, RAID 6 does however.

    I would say that this is a better enclosure for your money, more space for additional drives.


    Both Seagate drives are mechanically reliable, and the 1TB/platter density reduces the chance of failure due to reduced number of platters.

    Do you plan to run hardware or software RAID?
  2. I have no preference for Hardware vs Software RAID. If everything I end up purchasing can support Hardware RAID I would probably go with that but if I ended up having to use Software RAID I wouldn't mind.

    If I were to use the Habey enclosure you recommended would I still need to purchase a RAID controller or just a Mini SAS adapter card? (My desktop does not currently have an external Mini SAS port)

    Thanks for your suggestions! I'm going to do some more digging at work today and will probably have a few more questions later.
  3. The problem with hardware RAID is that performance is hardware-dependent, and you get locked into a manufacture, i.e. if your drive or controller fails you can't just swap it out with a new controller from a different manufacture, you are locked into that vendor.

    Mini SAS adapter and RAID controller are practically one in the same, although you could try something like this and connect it to your internal motherboard SATA headers, although I have no idea if it would work or not.


    No problem, I'll be here.
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