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kylejwx

Enterprise SSDs in Dell server

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kylejwx

The recent podcast episode about hard drives was awesome and really got me thinking. I have a Dell PowerEdge R430 that I would like some storage recommendations for.
 

I believe it has 4 SAS slots. I want to run Windows Server with Hyper V. I'm thinking two small drives in hardware RAID 1 for the OS, and 2 larger drives that I'll put into a Storage Spaces mirror. I would really like to use Enterprise SSDs as I believe it will increase the performance vs HDDs. Up to this point, I only have experience with consumer SATA drives, so if I'm heading down the wrong path, let me know.
 

Things I think I need help with.

1. Selecting drives
2. Make sure the drives fit in the R430. I believe it has 3.5 inch slots.
3. Proper caddies/drive cages to fit what I have.
4. Selecting a good vendor to purchase from.

Thank you!

 

20200404_174931-resize2.jpg.bac96327323b55e19f24dbbf24844871.jpg

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JackoUK

Have you considered booting/VMing to an NVME drive (in a PCIE slot)?

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kylejwx

I think NVMe is a great idea. I didn't even consider that. Does this server have the correct ports?

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kylejwx

A few other notes. This is for a production environment at my school. The goal is virtualized pfSense as my router, so I am looking for reliability. 

 

The server has dual SD cards, which I presume are for loading VMware. Kinda makes me wish Microsoft had the option to run with those. 

 

Here's a link to the specs of the server: Dell R430 Specs.xlsx

 

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ShadowPeo
On 5/4/2020 at 4:00 AM, kylejwx said:

The server has dual SD cards, which I presume are for loading VMware. Kinda makes me wish Microsoft had the option to run with those. 

You and me both on that

 

According to your specs sheet yes you have have NVME as you have two PCIE risers, I would be looking something like the PCIE 8x to 2 x 4x NVME adapters like QNAP have.  As for disks there are enterprise disks but basically even the ones we get from Dell are SATA, the Dell ones are insanely expensive last I purchased them directly. 

 

The 3.5" Caddies can support 2.5" either some simply have extra screw holes, others are specifically designed to deal with it, what your holding there seems to be a blanking plate

 

As for which disks, I tend to prefer Intel but that's all I can help with as Vendors are different in my part of the world

 

 

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kylejwx

Update here:

 

I picked up 2 Intel SSDs and 2 aftermarket drive cages and they all seem to be working great. This server is listed as “Diskless configuration” and Dell incorrectly told me it wouldn't work with drives. I figured out that the system still has the Dell S130 software RAID, which only works for Windows installations. Our firewall guy didn't want to run pfSense inside a VM so I just installed pfSense directly.

 

I turned off RAID and put it in AHCI mode and both disks were presented to pfSense. I used a ZFS mirror because why not?! This server has 64 GB of RAM so way overkill for just pfSense!

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