Nvme M.2 SSd Hard drive Enclosure Tests

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James Hall
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Nvme M.2 SSd Hard drive Enclosure Tests

Post by James Hall »

Hello All,

Here is the problem I have been having with our data storage and local drive capacity. I keep running out of space on our internal drives and the 10TB WD MyBook 's we have just do not keep up speed wise. Our internal drives are 512GB M.2 drives are fast enough just too small. To copy 410 GB of data with the MyBook takes around an half hour over a USB-A 3.0 connection at max sustained speed of 150 MB/s. So setting up a job and copying it back to the two External hard drives I use to maintain Backups takes a constable amount of time. I have worked jobs with 10 TB data sets, an hour to back up and reload the next area is frustrating

So I have been looking around for low cost SAN and NAS solutions and really could not find one. If you want speed and capacity it will cost you.
A NAS costs between $200 USD and $2000 and up. The drives $110 per drive 1TB SSD up to $2,778 per 16TB drive SSD. You will need between 2 and 8 or more drives depending on the NAS. So on the cheep you can put together a NAS for around $1,000 USD or a Bare bones setup for $400 USD with a low capacity.
Then you have to consider Network card adapters. 10Gb cards are around $150 for a good card and Cat7 cabling. Some do support USB-C.

On our computers we use USB-A 2.0, USB-A 3.0 and USB-C 3.1 ports and 1GB Ethernet.
Looking at the options that we can plug in I then ran across a few M.2 hard drive enclosures.

They operate over a large range of supported USB- ports standards and for USB-A 3.0 though USB- Thunderbolt 3 connect at access speeds comparable to internal hard drives. The cost point for the Enclosure I tested was $33 USD and the cheapest 1TB M.2 SSD I could find was around $100 USD.
I tested a Samsung 970 PRO 1TB drive in a ORICO Nvme M.2 Aluminum case USB-C 10Gbps enclosure. This combo was $383 USD.

Copying data from our internal M.2 drive to the one in the drive enclosure plugged into the USB-C 3.1 port max sustained speed at 800MB/s.
Copying data from the drive enclosure plugged into the USB-C 3.1 port and the MyBook plugged into the USB-C port using a USB-C to USB-A adapter cable max sustained speed at 280MB/s.
Copying data from the drive enclosure plugged into the USB-A 3.0 port and the MyBook plugged into the USB-A 3.0 port max sustained speed at 150MB/s.

I tried running a Cyclone database directly from the drive enclosure no problems at all. No lagging when panning.

My 410 GB half hour long back up has been dropped to 16 mins. It is faster for me to have M.2 drive enclosure for each Cyclone user and copy the files to the drive then plug it into their computer. I can also walk the drive to the server for a back up much faster then I can get it done over Gigabit Ethernet.

Things I learned from the test.
1. Buy separate silicone thermal pads for the full length of your M.2 card. $6 on amazon. The ones the ORICO came with where 3 little squares and I needed four of them to cover all the chips.
2. A cheep USB fan works well for cooling the enclosure, they do get hot.
3. No drivers were needed, but you do need to format the drive once it is plugged in.
4. The 10Gbs speed is only achievable with USB-C 3.1 Gen two or Thunderbolt 3 ports.
5. A USB-C to USB-A adapter cable dose run faster then just plugging into a USB-A plug.
6. The max size drive the ORICO can support is 2TB.

James,
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Re: Nvme M.2 SSd Hard drive Enclosure Tests

Post by Carbix »

Asus Threadripper motherboard (you will need all the PCi lanes, this board also has a special 4x4x4x4 setup that you need for the next part)
Asus HYPER M.2 X16 PCI-E CARD this only works with Asus boards that support it. Almost all Threadripper boards can us it.
Samsung 970 Evo 2TB NVMe x4

Put the whole thing in raid 0 stripped managed by windows and Bob's your uncle. (DO NOT USE AS A BOOT DRIVE)

I run this with with a 1TB NVMe Boot drive for all the software, a 1TB NVMe scratch/temp drive and an 8TB raid 0 HDD array made from 4x 2tb drives that came out of our NAS.

You need a NAS. I use a Synology DS1618+ with 5 8tb drives in raid 5. This ends up being something like 27TB. For Networking this NAS has 4 rj45 that can be trunked into 1. It also has the option for 1 pci expandable area. This you can use for a 10gb card or a 2xNVMe slot drive. I run a 10gb card do a 20 port switch.

DO NOT work from the NAS with your jobs (unless your only have 4-8 cored CPU). Working from any network will slow your registration down 10x. Pointcloud data is I/O heavy. We use 32 cores plus, so thats 64 threads calling for data at one time... this is where the 4x4 raid 0 striped windows run becomes a monster.

If this costs too much your not billing enough...
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Re: Nvme M.2 SSd Hard drive Enclosure Tests

Post by jamesworrell »

And then this comes past on facebook ..

https://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=330

"Introducing the ToughArmor MB720M2K-B, the world’s first quad drive ruggedized M.2 NVMe SSD removable enclosure. M.2 NVMe SSDs no longer requires to be installed on to a motherboard or a riser card with a tiny screw and can now be installed and accessed from the front of your computer without any tools."
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Re: Nvme M.2 SSd Hard drive Enclosure Tests

Post by stevenramsey »

I like the look of that Nvme drive. with a couple of 2tb Nvme cards nocking around may give that a go. I wonder if it could be raided??
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Re: Nvme M.2 SSd Hard drive Enclosure Tests

Post by James Hall »

There are 4 bay Nvme M.2 internal raids systems that run on thunderbolt 3.

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/TB3 ... lsrc=aw.ds

If you hooked up multiable single drive enclosures you could use a software raid. There is a utility that comes with Windows called "Manage Storage Spaces" to set it up.

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Re: Nvme M.2 SSd Hard drive Enclosure Tests

Post by James Hall »

If money were not a factor I would use 2 thunder blades and a NAS to back it up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLGd9_0rX2A

youtu.be/gLGd9_0rX2A

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/TB3 ... lsrc=aw.ds

Very expensive storage.

James,
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Re: Nvme M.2 SSd Hard drive Enclosure Tests

Post by Jason Warren »

jamesworrell wrote: Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:00 pm And then this comes past on facebook ..

https://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=330

"Introducing the ToughArmor MB720M2K-B, the world’s first quad drive ruggedized M.2 NVMe SSD removable enclosure. M.2 NVMe SSDs no longer requires to be installed on to a motherboard or a riser card with a tiny screw and can now be installed and accessed from the front of your computer without any tools."
Looks neat....

youtu.be/y2GP5ejUJmI
https://www.anandtech.com/show/15500/ic ... mb720m2k-b
The ToughArmor MB720M2K-B is currently listed at ICY DOCK’s website, so expect it to hit the market shortly. Pricing of the device is unclear.
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Re: Nvme M.2 SSd Hard drive Enclosure Tests

Post by jamesworrell »

More toys to check out for external swappable storage

https://www.blackjetusa.com/
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