9

Today I was shopping for the most basic dell rack server which is the R240.

Ironically, they are still using HDD 7200 RPM, with no option for SSD in their selection; and we're approaching 2020!

https://www.dell.com/en-au/work/shop/servers-storage-and-networking/poweredge-r240-rack-server/spd/poweredge-r240/4er2401101auoo_vi_vp

My question is simple

  1. Why is this so? (optional)
  2. Can I buy a cheap SSD (like the cheap 1TB 2.5" SSD on ebay) and swap them on the R240?

Thanks

2
  • You can set most driver no 'no drive' and only buy the cheapest SATA drive. Then when you receive the system put the installed drive in the trashcan and replace it with an SSD. That way you avoid the mega expensive Dell drives and you can install whatever you want. Sidenote 1: I did did in the past with a R300 replacing the drive with 115k RPM SAS drives. Sidenote 2: OLD (10+ year old checked drives vs a whitelist.. Sidenote3: SSD and Alignment should be OK these days, but check.
    – Hennes
    Dec 1 '19 at 14:26
  • I can't recall when was the last time a major server manufacturer used a proprietary drive connector (maybe some wretched SCSI stuff? those days, oh my) or whitelisted hard drive models. This is simply not done. In very broad strokes, you can always just swap drives.
    – chx
    Dec 2 '19 at 3:45
11

On Dell's R210, R220 and T130 I've successfully used Sandisk's consumer grade SSDs for years. I've done this with PERC's H410 and H710 controllers.

It will be a matter of controller and controller's firmware more than server brand/model.

Also, you'll probably have issues to find disk trays. I ended up buying it used on a famous refurbished hardware shop.

And regarding the optional first question, Dell sells servers equipped with SSDs for sure, maybe you should look to more expensive models.

6
  • 1
    We purchased trays from aliexpress multiple times without issue (there are no electronic parts). You can also replace the hdd in an existing tray with an SSD.
    – davidgo
    Dec 1 '19 at 0:02
  • Thank you for the answer, what issues did you have with the controller firmware? Dec 1 '19 at 4:01
  • 2
    Old firmwares don't recognize new big drives until they are updated. Generally, I always update controller's firmware before installing non stock drives, read this too: serverfault.com/a/876187/216275
    – Marco
    Dec 1 '19 at 7:24
  • Why Sandisk? IIRC, online reviews usually find them slower than similarly-priced drives of similar capacity in some benchmarks. Dec 1 '19 at 8:18
  • 2
    @user1034912, the main problem is that SSDs work best when the OS sends them "discard" commands for freed blocks, which significantly improves wear leveling. This doesn't work through RAID controllers unless they are explicitly aware that they are working with SSDs and have special algorithms to map discards to the underlying drives. That is a complex change to firmware, so only newer controllers support it -- older controllers will cause a lot more wear on SSDs. Dec 1 '19 at 12:13
9

Yes, you can swap HDDs <-> SSDs the way you want. Moreover, it's OK to use non-Dell branded SSDs inside Dell servers, you won't receive support (of course!) and some functions won't work like LEDs, iDRAC etc, but in general it's a way to go.

1
  • This is not 100% true every time. For sure you won't have issues with a yesterday factory purchased server, they always ship with latest firmwares. But if you buy a refurbished one with 2 years old firmware and try to install latest available drives you will likely run into troubles until you update controller: serverfault.com/a/876187/216275
    – Marco
    Dec 1 '19 at 8:24
0

Yes you can, but test the drives beforehand. If you will not be using server grade SSD drives, focus on Samsung PRO drives as they are very reliable. Latest EVOs are also OK, but they have lower read/write lives.

I have successfully upgraded some servers with PRO drives. RAID1 worked OK.

*Some RAID controllers can be stupid and cause drives to fall out of alignment.

0

I had the same problem - ordering a DELL R240 with SSD drives. Switching the configuration to "hot plug hard drives" made SSD drives available.

This gem was hiden on page 19 in the manual: https://i.dell.com/sites/csdocuments/Product_Docs/en/poweredge-r240-technical-guide.pdf

0

We purchased 4 units of Dell R240 with Kingston KC600 2TB SSD, everything works fine, but the SSD can't detected by the PERC RAID controller after reboot, what a disappointed Dell product 🤦🏻

Exactly same issue here: https://www.dell.com/community/PowerEdge-Hardware-General/PowerEdge-T130-SSD-not-found-failed-after-reboot/td-p/7493630

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.