I have an 11th gen Framework mainboard which I would like to repurpose as a server. Unfortunately, (unless I do some super janky stuff) I can only connect 1 drive to it over M.2 and any additional ones must be over USB.

I am thinking of just using some portable hard drives and plugging them in over USB. I plan to RAID1 them and use them as boot drives and data storage, and use the M.2 slot for something unrelated.

In your experiences, is USB reliable enough nowadays to run a RAID array for a server like this? If it is, does it depend on the specific drive used?

  • EbbyA
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    232 months ago

    In my experience, noooooo.

    I’ve had too many momentary disconnects with USB devices to trust that on a 24/7 server.

    An early server I built had a large USB backup drive for a RAID5 array and every month there was usually something that went wrong.

    • @Untitled4774@sh.itjust.works
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      72 months ago

      Agreed. You’re at the mercy of your USB controllers as well as southbridge in that case.

      You’re adding more things that can go wrong.

      Generally HBA/RAID cards are usually built for enterprise rather than consumer so they’re usually more reliable as well.

      • @narc0tic_bird@lemm.ee
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        92 months ago

        Today’s CPUs usually expose some USB connections directly. Ryzen 7000 desktop CPUs expose 4 USB 3.2 Gen 2 directly on their on-package I/O die for example. So if you connect your USB drives directly to the ports your mainboard connects directly to the CPU, the chipset (“southbridge”) and any third-party USB controllers are out of the equation.

        This is just information, I’m not advising to use USB for fixed storage.