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New member looking for some upgrade advice


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Hello everyone,


I am getting ready to upgrade my home brew FreeNAS box from just a file server to either a ESXi or Hyper-V machine in order to setup a home lab so I can get back up to speed on whats changed in the Microsoft world these past couple of years.  Below is my current system setup along with my planned upgrades.


Current System

Motherboard: Intel D525mw

Processor: D525

RAM: 4GB DDR3 1066

HDs: 4x2GB Western Digital Green

Misc: 4 port PCI SATA card



Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-H77N-WIFI

Processor: Intel E3-1265v2

RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600

SSD: 240GB (Kingston, Samsung, Muskin)


In addition to the above upgrades I am planning on getting either an IBM M1015 card or HP P410 SmartCard with 512MB of cache, but before pulling the trigger on either I wanted to know what others have gone with and why.  Also let me know if you have thoughts about the other hardware I listed.





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The M1015 will give you 8 ports of 6G SATA or SAS. It supports RAID 0-1-10, to get RAID 5 you will need the advanced key. The M1015 is also very popular as a pass through card. The P410 has 8 ports SAS runs at 6G, but SATA runs at 3G. With a memory module you can do RAID 5, in addition to RAID 0-1-10. I am a big fan of HP RAID cards, but for a lab system for ESXi or HyperV I would lean toward the M1015.

For SSD's I would look at the SK Hynix 256GB Newegg for $180 or if you are comfortable with refurbs Dealfisher has SanDisk Extreme 240GB for $124.99.

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Thanks for the info schoondoggy.


In regards to the M1015 being used as a pass through, is it mostly so it can passed through to a VM running a ZFS file system for RAID-Z which is then setup for iSCSI for Windows VM's or so it can be utilized in by Spaces in a Windows VM?


Actually, a broader question I should have asked in my original post is how everyone handles their main storage pool on a machine running a hypervisor, i.e. passing the M1015 through to a FreeNAS VM in order to run a RAID-Z volume or passing through the P410 card through to a Windows VM in order to access the RAID 5 array.


Hopefully my questions are clear enough for being written on a Friday after 5.

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