Seagate Corevault Storage Enclosure Review

June 25, 2024 0 By Lorena Mejia

The Seagate Exos Corvault Storage Enclosure (SHOP NOW) is for direct attached storage with a very impressive 106 top loading storage bays. As you know Seagate is one of the leading manufacturers of storage drives but did you know they make storage enclosures too! It is quite a lump of hardware. 

This Exos Corvault Storage Enclosure is built off the Seagate Exos E 4U106 Storage Enclosure and supports SAS drives. Seagate SAS Exos X20 3.5-inch SAS Enterprise drives to be specific with self-encrypting capabilities. Of course it’s going to be outfitted with Seagate drives! As a storage enclosure, this system does not have a motherboard and is used for direct attached storage with two I/O Modules on the back of the chassis directing traffic to and from the host servers to the enclosure and those installed drives. This platform can be used to support a number of applications like: Backup & recovery, Multi cloud, Private Cloud, and Public Cloud, and storage-as-a-service, among other things.

The system represents Seagate’s largest storage building block and can easily be set up to provide direct attached storage to expand your network. Not only that but this platform offers five-nines availability, durability and performance. That would be 99.999% of the time, and marketing at its best!

Seagate Exos E 4U106 Storage Enclosure length

The chassis is big at 44.8 inches in depth. Fully outfitted with 106 3.5-inch drives, it weighs in at up to 310 pounds or 141 kilos. In addition to the empty chassis in a big box, it came with 5x other boxes loaded with drives already in their drive trays. With this kind of big, it’s recommended to load the system into the enclosure and then add the drives. The front of the system is well vented for air flow.

Seagate Exos E 4U106 Storage Enclosure weight

There is a small digital display on the lower left but aside from that the front is mostly empty but not without a certain aesthetic. The front panel LEDs help monitor system status at a glance, an is meant to be used in combination with the Storage Management Console, more on that in a minute. There is a power ON button, Unit ID LED, and Host connectivity LED below that. These indicators would be green for the most part or blue for that ID LED. The adjacent panel deals specifically with the storage areas, with the first indicating a fault in the main bay, fault-application, fault-rear panel and fault auxiliary bay. These are either amber if there is a problem or off if the system is operating normally. The Fault-Application LED is initiated by the Management Console and indicates if the application is doing its thing.  

The back of the system has a cable management apparatus to hold all those, mostly, miniSAS cables. And that is definitely a required feature as you don’t want to damage the attached cables and potentially pull down a large portion of your network storage. Also a few power cables, and 4x Ethernet cables.

Seagate Exos E 4U106 mini-SAS

Without all of that clutter, you can see the 4x large hot-swap fans, and modular power units on the bottom of the chassis supporting 2000W 80 PLUS Titanium or Platinum units. An AcousticShield insulates the rear drive bays from vibration ensuring drive performance of the storage bays closest to the fans are not impacted.

Seagate Exos E 4U106 Enclosure rear ports

Two hot-swap I/O Modules, AKA IOM, on the right. Each has two 1GbE RJ45 ports. Those IO modules are redundant and can provide up to 36GB/s maximum bandwidth using the 4x MiniSAS connectors. That would be with each of the miniSAS connectors delivering 4 lanes of data at 48Gb/s or 6GB/s and with 4 of those miniSAS cables per Management Module, 36GB/s. or thereabouts given that is theoretical bandwidth, probably not actual but damn close. 

Exos E 4U106 Storage rear PSU

There are tell-tale LEDs on the I/O Modules too with two squeezed in between the RJ45 ports and miniSAS cables indicating power status and Hardware Status just like on the front. Additional status LEDs are adjacent to the host port links and indicate a SAS Host Port Fault and SAS Host Port Link status and Activity. Two more for those Ethernet ports with Ethernet port link speed status (LNK) and activity (ACT).

Seagate Exos E 4U106 active controller modules

The cover is hinged with a forward group of drives and a rear group. The drives can be split into two nodes with 53 drives assigned to each node, or lumped together for the full 106 drives. With 20TB storage drives, that’s a little over 2x Petabytes of storage with all slots loaded. The unit is roughly divided into two sections, with the main drive bay module supporting 96 bays, while the auxiliary bay has 10x drive bays. The auxiliary bay drive module butts against 2x controller fan modules and then the 2x Controller Modules accessible from the exterior. The controllers are active, active, so not just one but twice. At the end of each row of drives is a SAS expander module, for 8x total.   

The Seagate Corvault Storage Enclosure features Seagate’s 6th generation VelosCT Application Specific Integrated Circuit, or ASIC, for those two controllers. Field upgradable only by replacement. It delivers ADAPT technology, which is a cool acronym for Advanced Distributed Autonomic Protection Technology. Basically, a RAID-based data protection software safeguard that uses a larger set of hard drives to distribute parity and ensure data integrity. 

Seagate Exos E 4U106 Storage Enclosure adapt technology

From ADAPT Technology you get Autonomous Drive Regeneration, also a cool acronym ADR, and erasure encoding data protection. ADR, in a nut-shell also ensures hard drive longevity. ADR monitors the hard drives and if faults are detected automatically renews and rebuilds the drive. With ADAPT technology rebuild time is dramatically reduced, taking minutes to rebuild when it may have taken days using traditional methods. All good for a top-of-the-line storage enclosure. There are other more traditional RAID levels to choose from, and the ADAPT option does require at least 12 drives.

The system itself features 1-button setup, and Administrators have several options for managing the system once an Administrator has been setup and logged in. A Storage Management Console (SMC) provides an intuitive, and user-friendly browser-based user interface to manage, configure, and monitor enclosure assets. For SMC a serial cable is connected to the COM port. You can also connect to SMC remotely through the network or using a secure shell (SSH) to the default IP Address. That option uses Unix-Style commands. The Storage Systems Manager lets Administrators view host systems and their related storage volumes. If one of the disks is acting a little wonky, you can select it for more details and even activate an LED on the misbehaving disk, making it much easier to locate once you remove the cover panel. It would probably have a red light on anyways. Also, a command line interface, also a JSON-based API, Redfish/Swordfish-based API and XML-based applications Programming Interface.  

Seagate Exos E 4U106 Storage management console

Here we have the Storage Management Console interface. It’s fairly basic with a general dashboard when you first login, that provides basic information on system health, Alerts, Activity and Capacity of the system. On the left you get more options for Provisioning, Settings and Maintenance. under provisioning you can see volumes that have already been created and the capacity for each which does not have to be the same across the board. That is where you would choose what type of redundancy to implement for data protection, which has already been setup in this case. Hosts would be the servers accessing the storage on this unit as direct attached storage. 

You can also see the volumes these servers are attached to. We created a few more Hosts Hv2 and Hv3 and placed them into the ITC Cluster group. Under Settings there are a few more menus for Network, Users, System and Notifications. The properties tab in the System menu has a few more items. Under The Maintenance menu several more options. the Hardware tab is where you will see a physical representation of the system and all the drives can be clicked for status. This is where you would also select a drive to activate the LED making it easier to locate, assuming it doesn’t already have a flashing red light or something if it’s going south. There is also a tab to see the components on the rear of the system. 

Seagate Exos E 4U106 Storage Enclosure front panel

The Seagate Exos Corvault Storage Enclosure is Seagate’s largest modular building block and offers more of a traditional storage enclosure with direct attached storage and several options for ensuring data integrity. However, it also offers some updated features, like Seagate’s ADAPT technology that make it more resilient, and quicker to rebuild in the event of data loss. This would be the self-healing storage part. 

Visit or contact IT Creations if you are interested in learning more about the Seagate Exos Corvault Storage. Looking for something else? Just visit IT Creations and look around we have new and legacy hardware, plus the parts and components to update your network or just keep it running smoothly.