Usecase for older, low capacity drives?

Like I’m sure many of us, I have probably a dozen random drives (a mix of ssds and hdds) that range from 60GB to 1TB in size that I’ve hoarded from over the years.
Many of them have fairly low power on time, low-ish writes etc.

I’m making a “real” pool with 6x18Tb drives, that will be the bulk of my storage, but that means I currently have 9 more slots I can fill.
Are there any use-cases for populating them with low-capacity drives?
I have pairs for most of these, ie, 2x128gb ssds, 2x500 ssds, 2x1tb hdds. So I could mirror these, use them as l2arc etc, but i’m not sure what to do.

I thought it might be good to try and squeeze more life out of the drives now that I have space.
Or maybe its just not worth the headache of trying to manage them, and I should stick them back in the drawer.

If it were me, I’d hold onto them. You could use the SSDs as boot drives in future systems. Or if you wanna toss them in go for it. You can always use them for testing and things like that.


You could use 2 small(ish) SSDs mirrored as a R/W cache. You could also combine the remaining slot make a larger RAID51 (2 x RAID5, each with 3 drives and mirrored) for R/W caching, saving your large drives from being constantly spun up.

I’m using 8TB drives in my array, which is as big as I want to realistically go. If an 18TB drive were to fail, I would be really uncomfortable during the rebuild.

1 Like