I am looking for advice on buying SSD disks for my server. I have two barely used Fujitsu RX300 S7 servers with A LOT of RAM, LSI SAS2108-based RAID 6G controller with 512MB cache and 8 disk cages.

Now, my plan is to use those two servers with VMWare 5.5 or 6.0 platform to host these virtual servers:

  • 3 or 4 all-in-one web servers (Windows IIS + .NET + MSSQL and Linux equivalent)
  • 3 mail servers
  • 1 firewall

FIRST CONSIDERATION - SSD DISKS What I am considering now is which SSD disks would be best compromise on quality, performance and durability for reasonable price:

  • Samsung 850 EVO
  • Samsung 850 PRO
  • Samsung SM863 Enterprise
  • Samsung PM863 Enterprise

The RAID conntroller is a bit old and like many others does not support SSD Trim. Also I do not want to buy SSD disks, which RAID controller could not utilize to their potential.

SECOND CONSIDERATION - ONE SINGLE OR MULTIPLE RAID ARRAYS I know this has been debated many times, but many studies are based on IOPS prediction. I have no idea of my IOPS at the time, nor how to estimate them for the future. What I am thinking about is to configure:

  • one larger RAID 10 array with 6 disks for SYSTEMS, DATA and WEB stores
  • and one RAID 1 array with 2 disks for random IOPS, which I would dedicate as a partition to put MySQL and MSSQL logs onto (not the whole server, just SQL partition)

What do you think?

  • This question is pretty much going to be opinion based as each admin would have their own preference to handle it. Personally, I'm against DAS (direct attached storage) on VMware hosts because it makes things very difficult to move virtual machines to other hosts in case of maintenance or hardware failures. I would recommend at least an NFS share or iSCSI array from something like a NAS device or NetApp array. – AtomicFireball Dec 14 '16 at 20:39
  • Yes, I am aware if the fact, that I am looking for opinions. But as I do not have exact numbers, that's all I can do right now. Regarding NFS or iSCSI or any other STORAGE, I might not be clear enough that I will GET THOSE SERVERS FOR FREE, so it's just expense of SSD disk which I will and can afford, nothing more - and I must utilize them the best. I do not have budget for any storage or better solution. – Labsy Dec 14 '16 at 21:42
  • It was clear, but you're going to put all of your ducks in one or two baskets and no easy way to recover in a failure. You might not run into issues, but you might. If you decide to go that route, I would make sure you have a recovery plan in place in case that happens. Believe me, it's not fun if it does. – AtomicFireball Dec 14 '16 at 21:59
  • Let's put it that way: I have 8 years old server with all mentioned virtual servers installed, running in a production. I mean, barely running, as server is so old, lacks RAM and runs on SAS/SATA disks. Now I have been allocated 1 or maybe 2 above mentioned newer servers plus some 3-4k EUR for disks to do something with it. I can reconsider storage thousands of times, but that does not change 4k EUR into 40k :) – Labsy Dec 14 '16 at 23:34

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