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hfournier

Dell PowerEdge T30 - drive setup

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hfournier

I was looking at getting an HPE MicroServer Gen10, but it looks like it's going to take at least another couple of weeks to get one in Canada and I can't afford to delay any longer.

 

I'm not sure when it was released, but it looks like Dell has replaced the T20 with the T30 (PDF).

 

What I'd like to do is have two 120GB SSDs (RAID 1) for the OS (Windows Server 2016 Essentials) and 3 WD Gold 2TB (RAID 5) for data, leaving room for a 4th if needed down the road. Based on some of the posts here, I've thought of the following options:

  • Use a bracket to mount both SSDs in the empty drive bay - but I'd be short 1 SATA port (needing a card, like the StarTech PEXSAT32, and SATA cable) and 1 power plug (needing a splitter) and have no room to add a 4th data drive
  • Remove the DVD drive and mount both SSDs in its bay - but I'd lose the DVD (not a big deal), but still need a card, 2 cables and 2 extra power plugs
  • Use a card like the Tempo SSD Pro Plus and mount the 2 SSDs onto it - leaves the DVD and extra drive bay open, does not require extra cables or power plugs - RAID 0 - not sure it will fit
  • Use a card like the StarTech PEXMSATA3422 and mount 2 mSATA SSDs onto it - same benefits as previous option - RAID 1 - shouldn't be any issues with fit

 

I'm leaning towards the last option, as it seem to check all the boxes. And, from what I've read, I believe that I should be able to boot the OS from those mSATAs (RAID 1).

 

Looking for any help, advice, comments, recommendations, experience with any of the above. It's pretty quiet in here, but hope people are still paying attention, cause I need to get this figured out ASAP. Thanks.

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hfournier

I was told today by a Dell hardware rep that the T30 does not support booting to OS from PCIe card. Can anyone confirm that? Was the T20 the same? Did all those multi-drive mods with RAID cards always use a SATA port to boot into the OS?

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schoondoggy

This is a good thread detailing the options on a T20:

 

How are going to set up the RAID5?

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hfournier

I went through the thread before, but didn't really see anything about booting. My plan was RAID 1 off the PCIe card for the OS and software RAID 5 for the 3 out of 4 x 2 TB data drives.

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schoondoggy

The thread was to help with your questions on mounting drives. Why do you want RAID5?

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hfournier

Thanks, but what I was looking for was advice regarding the configuration of the system, more than just how to physically add more drives. For example, in the original post, I said I was leaning towards using the PCIe card with 2 x mSATA drives onboard in RAID 1 for the OS. However, today I was told by a Dell hardware rep that the T30 does not support booting the OS from a PCIe card, so that's no longer an option. I guess I was hoping someone in this forum would already know that and set me straight before I ordered the hardware.

 

It's for a SMB server, so I thought OS in RAID 1 and data in RAID 5 would be the best way to go. Wouldn't it?

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schoondoggy
Thanks, but what I was looking for was advice regarding the configuration of the system, more than just how to physically add more drives. For example, in the original post, I said I was leaning towards using the PCIe card with 2 x mSATA drives onboard in RAID 1 for the OS. However, today I was told by a Dell hardware rep that the T30 does not support booting the OS from a PCIe card, so that's no longer an option. I guess I was hoping someone in this forum would already know that and set me straight before I ordered the hardware.

 

It's for a SMB server, so I thought OS in RAID 1 and data in RAID 5 would be the best way to go. Wouldn't it?

RAID5 rebuilds are parity calculations. Software RAID would put that full burden on your CPU. The longer it takes to rebuild the greater chance you have to lose another drive. RAID5 is best deployed on a hardware RAID card. RAID10 is easier on resources, but you have less useable capacity.

If you are looking for ideas on best practice for configuring drives, I would choose a server the allowed me to install a real RAID controller. I would configure the two SSD in RAID1 on the RAID controller. For data I would configure four drives in a RAID10 on the RAID controller.

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hfournier

So if I don't move up to another server, would I be better off sticking to RAID 1 for the OS and then just using Storage Spaces for the data?

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hfournier

So, I've got a Dell T30 running with 2 Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SSDs connected RAID 1 using the StarTech PEXSAT32 PCIe card. I changed SATA mode from RAID to AHCI and I changed boot mode from legacy to UEFI. Windows Server 2016 Essentials is installed and booting without issue.

 

I used a StarTech BRACKET25X2 to mount the SSDs into an open drive bay.

 

And I'm using Storage Spaces for the 3 x WD Gold 2TB drives.

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rfs830

what kind of read/write speeds are  you getting with storage spaces in 2016?  I have access to 2016 and was going to use it as my main os but was going to use stable bits for my drive pooling.  IF storage spaces works just as well now in 2016, I may just use that.  

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