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Pros: solid build. Built in fan is a super plus for me, I like having things vent out heat. Currently supports Seagates Ironwolf 10tb hdd!
Cons: non. At this price range, I dont know what other people expect. If I had to be picky, (which is why i'm not removing an egg), the only thing I dont like about this, is their support. Direct on Startech's site, their products are normally listed at a higher price tag than other major online retailers. Also it only comes with a 2 year warranty. It is a very basic setup, not sure why they are afraid to kick out a higher warranty.
Other Thoughts: I use this to backup my raided home server. I then use it as my target for my online backup solution (so i have 3 copies of my data, 2 in house and 1 in the cloud).
I have never used an SSD in here so I really can't rate the speed. Even my 10tb hdd isn't designed to be fast. However I own a 2.5" startech enclosure with an SSD and it gets great transfer rates.
Because I was worried that this might get knocked over, I place it on it' side, so I had to purchase velcro but only attached the "soft side" to allow me to have this on a desk and prevent it from scratching the desktop.
I highly recommend this to anyone needing to support a 3.5" hdd, of course now there is potentially a usb 3.1 enclosure out but if you only have a mechanical hdd, you're not going to see much benefit into the higher external bus speed because you're limited to the spinning disk.
Pros: For a Server 2012 R2 Essentials build. Only needed to add a few extra parts to get it up to par (see other). ).
Cons: If you do not know what your doing, I would stay away from this device, there is no support for this item from Lenovo/IBM unless you have a contract with them. I had a hard time just trying to get part numbers but luckily I finally googled the correct term.
I had to play around on their website to get the correct drivers. I had a lot of trial and error. Once I get the right drivers, I documented it for future use.
Other Thoughts: It is a shame it doesn't come with caddy's for all of the bays. I would rather see a system without hard drive but with Caddy's vs offering a single hard drive solution. Regardless, here are some part numbers that might help you out...
RAM - 8gb is good however I really want to play it safe or if you plan on running a hypervisor, you will need a bit more. So I purchased another 8gb stick googling IBM part number 00D5015 or 00D5016. Expect to pay around $55 per stick. [So far the system boots just fine]
Caddy - Google search Lenovo 69Y5342. This will lead you down a rabbit hole of solutions. I ended up paying $17/caddy
Raid Upgrade - the Built in raid controller only supports Raid 1 and Raid 0. To get Raid 5 you need to google search Lenovo 81Y4406. Please note that this "part" is only a license key. Your not changing out any physical hardware
Then you need to google Lenovo FoD. You should find a PDF regarding Features on Demand. From there you can install the new key.
All said and done, minus the cost of the physical hard drives i needed to purchase (2 x 2.5" SSD & 4 x 3.5" HDD), I spent around $600 to get the system a Bare Quad Core 16gb Ram server with Raid 5 support.
Pros: When working, its a very simple to use external hard drive bay that can combine drives into a single drive or you can cut up the drives inside to be anything you want (1x1tb and 3x750gb is an example).
The fan helps keep the hard drives cooler & the lights can be informative if your not logged into the computer on the daily.
Usb 3.0 & esata to help ensure maximum connectivity solutions for people.
Cons: I've had it for 14 months now (just about) and the unit has become a hassle to deal with.
Of course I originally thought that it was due to the fact the drives were old (i used this to JBOD raid some old 2 & 3tb drives into a single backup drive for my main server) however it wasn't until after swapping out drives that I knew were working and see similar failure results (the raid controller just goes offline) was when I realized that the enclosure itself was acting up.
I swapped out usb connections (as my mobo uses two different chipsets to run various usb 3.0 hosts) & I even put in a USB 3.0 card to see if that would work. Nope.
Other Thoughts: When working its a nifty piece of equipment. As i mentioned in the first paragraph, i use this to JBOD various older drives as a 2nd backup to my main server. This enclosure is always connect to a pc that I use an unlimited online cloud backup service so it gives me 3 copies of my data (2 local and 1 in the cloud).
Looks like I have to find a new enclosure, possibly one with a longer warranty.