Is USB3 a dumb idea?

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Is USB3 a dumb idea?

Postby tim.rohrer » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:03 am

On another thread I started in r/zfs] ( I've already been cautioned against using USB with ZFS. In my research so far, I've seen some support for this statement, but I've also seen indications where there may have been USB2 issues while USB3 may be okay.

In searching this forum, I see convos from a few years ago.

So, today, in the current state of O3X, is there any reason NOT to use USB3. In particular, I'm looking for reasons that would not otherwise exists with USB3 and other file systems.

If there are concerns, where do they lie? Is with with the transmission of data? The controllers/bus on the motherboard? Or, in the enclosure?

I've seen/used Thunderbolt to eSATA adapters in the past. Do these negate the concerns? I guess I'm not understanding how these protocols differ (most TB->eSata adapters also come with USB3) as it relates to ZFS, and O3X in particular.

Any help is appreciated. I have to decide if I really should be doing this today, or if I should be waiting until I can build a file server with hba/sata, or using TB->eSata from my Mac Pro or MacMini?
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Re: Is USB3 a dumb idea?

Postby lundman » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:14 pm

Really hard to know for sure really, but I must admit, of the troubles we've had between the protocols, USB has cropped up more often. Many problems associated with drive renumbering, when - for whatever reason - the USB bus is disturbed and reconnected. sata and firewire tend to keep the device names when they come back, USB will get a new name.

In theory, all these things have been fixed, so USB "should be fine" - and yet, it is also the cheapest way to attach storage, and to certain degree, you get what you pay for. At the end of the day, perhaps having to occasionally reboot because you use USB is not a very "great cost".
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Re: Is USB3 a dumb idea?

Postby godzilla » Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:57 am

FWIW I have been using OpenZFS with USB 3 disk for the past 6 months without any issue - in a "lab / test" environment but it worked perfectly so far
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