Anyone have any ideas or tips, guys?
I use a pair of Drobo raids, one with 26TB and the other with 8TB and a 10TB raid 5 for current projects.
Moved to the Hardware Forum.
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I this USB3 dock with fan to swap drives http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-SuperSpeed-Docking-Station-Cooling/dp/B0055PL2YI
Put a label on as many drives as you want to use
I have eight external USB3 drives, with 32Tb in total including the internal drives. I wouldn't be comfortable using those little pocket drives, but I use WD My Book, and Seagate Expansion drives. They all have power blocks, and are not powered via the USB lead.
Over the years I have lost three of the WD My Book drives. Two of the failed drives were rescued by removing the 3.5" HDD from the case, removing the USB3 interface, and connecting directly to SATA ports. The other failed completely and the data was lost. (Note I have two or three levels of backup using Shadow Protect.
The WD My Book drives give me about 120MB/s continuous, whereas the Seagate Expansion drives manage 180MB/s continuous.
The drives are all permanently attached, but I am mindful that if I was hit by ransomware, all of the drives could become encrypted. I have no answer to that other than to be very careful.
Another issue I have had was a ruined USB3 socket on one of the WD My Books due to condensation eating the PCB. I posted about that at the time (2013)
I hope that helps. I'm currently waiting on a new 7900X build with a couple of M.2 drives to which I'll add the SSDs and some of the HDDs from my current build, but O hope to have things better organised. For instance I have made a housing for the externals with cooling, and I am powering them from the computer PSU to cut down on the acres of distribution boards behind my desk.
Thanks, Trevor. That's really helpful.