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Concerns on moving from HDD RAID 1 to SSDs in Production Environment - Tips?


nlitend1
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Hi Guys!

 

I'm in need of some quality advice ASAP as I'm looking to make an online purchase of the drives and install over the holiday weekend...so I knew right where to come.  :D

 

Currently the Server (Lenovo TS130 - XEON 1225-v2 with 8GB RAM running 2008 R2 Foundation edition) for a small office that runs Electronic health records software (chirotouch) is running on a RAID 1 of 500GB Western Digital RE4 7200RPM 64MB Sata II hard drives via the onboard Intel RST option. We had a backup drive fail and am looking at this opportunity to do a hardware upgrade of those hard drives and move one of the 500GB drives to a backup storage role and the other to an OS drive of a non-critical VPN server. The Lenovo TS130 is strictly used as a file server to run the software and is only using about 80GB of the 500GB drive (The data amount has only increased 15GB in 2.5 years of use...so the drives aren't even used that much...but the software runs a small MS SQL database and I'd like to have it on an SSD for increased responsiveness and performance)

 

After much research, it appears the Intel 730 series SSD drives are great for servers. An enterprise grade drive - built for some serious grind, a 5yr warranty, and two onboard capacitors that will save your bacon if power is interrupted during an operation. 

 

The questions I have revolve around the implementation of these drives for long term performance and reliability. After more research, I discovered that there is no way to have a hardware (or pseudo hardware like the Intel RST) RAID 1 configuration that supports TRIM. And so I question the whole idea to swap out the hard drives for a SSD's in RAID 1, but would really like to have the improved responsiveness in the office and not spend money on a new backup drive when SSDs are relatively affordable now.

 

I thought about just relying on background garbage collection, but according to the following site, this drive does not even have that enabled? I find that hard to believe, but apparently they tested it.

 

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/intel-730_5.html 

 

So the other option i came across was to use built in windows software for a RAID 1 configuration. From what I've found, that option appears to support TRIM of each individual drive as they are not running on a raid controller. Can anyone confirm this?

 

 

So basically i'm looking for advice on how to proceed. How would the performance of windows software RAID be compared to just running the drives in a RAID 1 on Intel RST? Does anyone have any experience with running SSD's in a RAID 1 in a production environment and advice in this area? If uptime was not a concern, I would simply eliminate RAID, but in the office setting it most certainly is.

 

 

I realize this is a long post, but hopefully my situation and concerns came across well.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

 

nlitend1

 

P.S. In case anyone is thinking this...yes, I've considered moving the EHR software onto a secondary single SSD drive, but I'd really like to keep things redundant for uptime in the office. 

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Hi Schoondoggy!

 

Thanks for the reply! Can you check your first link? I don't think that's the link you meant to post. :)

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Hi Schoondoggy!

 

Thanks for the reply! Can you check your first link? I don't think that's the link you meant to post. :)

Fixed it!

Thanks

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