Performance: Using SSD’s for VM Drives in Home Hyper-V Server on GA-Z77X-UD5H

• June 3, 2013

By: John Stutsman

 

In the paper Performance Comparison of Windows Server 2012 Essentials on the HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer and the HP ProLiant N54L MicroServer I described my Client Workstation that NASPT (NAS Performance Toolkit) would operate from as a Hyper-V Client operating on a VM Drive that was on my Hyper-V Server. This VM (Virtual Machine) Drive was a Crucial M4 256GB SSD. The Crucial M4 256GB SSD provided fast read’s and write’s for my VM Clients. The Crucial drives had only been the latest in a long evolution of VM Drives starting with the ST3000DM001 I described in the paper Installing Server 2012 RC on the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H. In between I’ve used VB0250EAVER’s, WD Green’s (Including EADS’s), WD Black’s, and even a WD Red but nothing with any real performance until I used the Crucial. The only VelociRaptor I had I was using in my Desktop machine as a VM Drive for Hyper-V on my Desktop.

 

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Figure 1 — Performance of Single Crucial M4 256GB SSD used as VM Drive

 

When I had completed the recent series of studies I began to wonder what performance improvement I would see for my VM Drives if I used Disk Manager in Windows Server 2012 to create a software RAID0 of two Crucial M4 256GB SSD’s. Earlier I had measured the performance of two Crucial M4 256GB SSD’s in RAID0 on a Rocket RAID 2720 – see Figures 17, 18, & 19 in HP ProLiant N54L G7 MicroServer First Look – I wasn’t disappointed.

 

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Figure 2 — Performance of two Crucial M4 256GB SSD’s in RAID0 used as VM Drive

 

During Memorial Weekend I purchased two Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s. I mounted the two Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s in a Bytecc Internal 2.5” HDD/SSD Mounting Kit to convert a 3.5” drive bay to 2×2.5” drive bays. I moved my OS SSD (Corsair GT 240GB SSD) in my Hyper-V Server (a GA-Z77X-UD5H) to one of the GSATA III ports and attached the two Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s to the Intel SATA III Ports 0 & 1 for the maximum performance. (The two Crucial M4 256GB SSD’s that had been my VM Drive earlier were removed from the Hyper-V Server temporarily for use elsewhere.)

 

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Figure 3 — Two Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s mounted in Bytecc Internal 2.5′ HDD/SDD Mounting Kit

 

The performance of the individual Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s is as follows:

 

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Figure 4 — Performance of Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD attached to Intel SATA III Port 0 on Z77X-UD5H

 

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Figure 5 — Performance of Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD attached to Intel SATA III Port 1 on Z77X-UD5H

 

I then combined the two Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s into a RAID0 using Server 2012 Disk Manager like I had done with the Crucial M4’s before. The performance I found was excellent as shown in Figure 6 below.

 

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Figure 6 — Performance of Two Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s in RAID0 to be used as a VM Drive on a Z77X-UD5H

 

In fact excellent doesn’t begin to fairly describe the performance of the new VM Drive – this is the best performance I have ever seen in any machine I had built (or purchased). To say I am very pleased (or elated) is quite an understatement.

 

Conclusion

Two Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD’s in RAID0 created with Disk Manager on Server 2012 make for an excellent VM Drive that I will use for many of my Hyper-V clients in the future.

 

References

GA-Z77X-UD5H Blog Postings

A Server Build with a GA-Z77X-UD5H in a Lian-Li PC-K9WX

A Server Build with a GA-Z77X-UD5H in a Lian-Li PC-K9WX–Part 2

Updating a Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H and i7-3770 in a PC-KW9X with a Zalman CPU Cooler

Installing Server 2012 Release Candidate on the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H

The Icy Dock 5.25” Hot Swap Drive Caddy for a 2.5” and a 3.5” SATA Drive – DuoSwap MB971SP-B

Intel 82579V NIC on GA-Z77X-UD5H and other Motherboards with Server OS’s

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H

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Category: Hard Drives, RAID, Review, SSD, Virtualization

Comments (5)

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  1. pcdoc says:

    I now have performance envy. Very nice. Will have to give this a try in the future.

  2. John Stutsman says:

    Thanks Mike! It has actually made more of a difference than I had expected.

  3. Jack Brennan says:

    I just picked up a single Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD for this same purpose. Use on Server 2012 with Hyper-V as a test lab. After seeing your results I'm even more eager for the mail man to arrive :).

    Obviously a snappy VM is nice, but when I'm working on 4 or 5 machines at the same time my old RAID array with HDD just grinds to a halt.

    I'll still use my old RAID for servers which just sit and serve data, but this SSD will really save me time with experiments.

    Thank for the performance pictures, the RAID 0 performance is fantastic!

  4. John Stutsman says:

    Thanks Jack. When you get a chance join us in the forums at http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php? and tell us about your test setup — and post some performance pics of that new 840 Pro :)
    Best Regards!

  5. John Stutsman says:

    Thanks Jack. When you get a chance join us in the forums at http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php? and tell us about your test setup — and post some performance pics of that new 840 Pro :)
    Best Regards!

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