External USB drives are not always viable for running a storagenode, depends a lot on the hardware.
some will work without a problem, others will need power management disabled on either USB or HDD or both, ofc in many cases it works without any signs of problems.
but keep in mind external USB drives aren’t usually made to run 24/7 and thus may also be prone to overheating during extended heavy loads, like wise USB isn’t made for 24/7 operation, it’s hardware designed for easy connections, installs and removal… these features are not complimentary to 24/7 operation, since the USB BUS tend to disconnect and reconnect devices frequently for various reasons.
when using a USB BUS for such 24/7 operations i would recommend avoiding to use that particular USB BUS only for the long term connected devices, and keep all other USB devices on other USB BUS’s
this doesn’t mean using another USB port, but ensuring that the USB BUS you are connecting your misc devices to is a separate chip, with its own drivers, so that it is essentially an isolated system and thus whatever issues that could be caused when connecting and disconnecting various devices to the USB BUS is isolated to that particular BUS and will not disrupt your storagenode.
i cannot say with certainty that using a separate USB port on the same USB controller will have the same effect, it will ofc mitigate some of the problems that can happen, maybe most of them… i’m not sure on that, which is why i would recommend using a dedicated USB BUS / USB controller.
most motherboards have multiple USB controllers anyways, so it’s just a matter of connecting your storagenode USB storage via those ports and then figure out which ports are for which controller and only use those… doing this together with disabling the power management, should allow most USB setups to work without to much trouble.
ofc it may not be a problem, but something to keep in mind if you do run into trouble in the future.
and since storagenodes potentially run for years, i would use a better safe than sorry and implement as many safety measures to avoid disruptions as possible.
ofc these days disconnecting storage won’t get your node DQ, but it will still shutdown the storagenode when it happens even if its just for a blink of an eye.