Performance: Using SSD’s for VM Drives in Home Hyper-V Server on GA-Z77X-UD5H
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.
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.
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.)
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:
Figure 4 — Performance of Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD attached to Intel SATA III Port 0 on Z77X-UD5H
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.
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.
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.