Hard drive setup for hosting multiple VMs?

baddubbin

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I am building a new home server in SuperMicro SC846 with ESXi for virtualization. The initial plan is to spin up the following virtual machines:

- Windows 2012 Plex Server with DVR
- BlueIris NVR
- PiHole
- Ubuntu VM for torrent client
- UniFi controller
- Reverse Proxy
- 1-2 rotating lightweight development VMs

Will 2x Samsung 850 EVO drives in Raid 1 be sufficient for hosting all of these VMs? The media and recorded camera videos will all be stored in a separate datastore of spinning disks.
 

Monoman

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On your dev VM's, stay away from long io intensive tasks. Your torrent might eat up the IO as well, but we're talking worst case.
 

vrod

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I would refrain from using any Samsung EVO drives in a 24/7 box... Go for the Pro-version. Aside from that, it would run just fine.
 

baddubbin

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On your dev VM's, stay away from long io intensive tasks. Your torrent might eat up the IO as well, but we're talking worst case.
The torrent VM will be writing/reading files to a separate datastore, will it still affect IO on the SSDs significantly?
 

archangel.dmitry

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I wouldn't put 2 SSDs in RAID1 as you might have some problems with TRIM. Just use 2 separate SSDs and store configs elsewhere for later recovery if necessary. Also, if you are going with EVO make sure to minimize writes to SSDs. There are multiple "how-to" guides.
 
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Monoman

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@baddubbin I speak from experience here. I've run a pair of 1tb EVO 850 SSD's on my 24/7 home server with around 40+ active low use VM's and I'm getting around a percent of wear-out per 6 months (2% a year). I run every VM you've listed on mine but do a couple tricks to help with trim as mentioned earlier.

-over provision. I set the OP to 20%
-limit the torrent client cache drive to a ram drive to help with thrashing.
-If you notice a slow-down, backup, do a secure wipe and restore. Will perform as new.

lmk if you have any other questions!
 
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baddubbin

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@baddubbin I speak from experience here. I've run a paid of 1tb EVO 850 SSD's on my 24/7 home server with around 40+ active low use VM's and I'm getting around a percent of wear-out per 6 months (2% a year). I run every VM you've listed on mine but do a couple tricks to help with trim as mentioned earlier.

-over provision. I set the OP to 20%
-limit the torrent client cache drive to a ram drive to help with thrashing.
-If you notice a slow-down, backup, do a secure wipe and restore. Will perform as new.

lmk if you have any other questions!
Thanks, you running in RAID 1?
 
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Monoman

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p.s. I've upgraded but it wasn't due to anything related to the drives, I went from 1 server with 2x1tb to 2 servers with 4x 512gb I bought enterprise drives this time instead of evo, price was about the same as evo after the inflation from last year.
 

ullbeking

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as much as you can afford ;)
Re: RAMdisk for caching, how do you actually have this implemented? Is this something that you've set in your hypervisor, or have you set a tiered storage hierarchy? The latter is particularly interesting to me, and I'm investigating options for doing this generally on many of my servers.
 

ullbeking

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I would refrain from using any Samsung EVO drives in a 24/7 box... Go for the Pro-version. Aside from that, it would run just fine.
Those new 960 series SSDs look incredible. 5-year warranty too. (Does the 950 series have a 5-year warranty?)
 

ullbeking

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I wouldn't put 2 SSDs in RAID1 as you might have some problems with TRIM. Just use 2 separate SSDs and store configs elsewhere for later recovery if necessary. Also, if you are going with EVO make sure to minimize writes to SSDs. There are multiple "how-to" guides.
This is very interesting to me, and the first time I've ever heard any recommendation not to use mirrored SSDs. I'm setting up several servers and a pair of mirrored SSDs in the hot-swappable, front-loading drive bays was a central part of the design. I was going to run the OS and hypervisor from there. Are you suggesting that this not a great idea?

The problem, i.e., whether or not it's a good idea to mirror SSDs, is that even though I've been investigating for quite some time I've been unable to find authoritative or principled information. Every recommendation seems to be based on personal anecdotes, personal opinion, or hearsay.

Why does TRIM cause problems with mirrored SSDs?
 

vrod

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Those new 960 series SSDs look incredible. 5-year warranty too. (Does the 950 series have a 5-year warranty?)
You mean the NVMe-drives? I think they do give 5 years of warranty but it's limited to the write endurance. If you write more than the warranty allows, you will lose that warranty.
 

ullbeking

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You mean the NVMe-drives? I think they do give 5 years of warranty but it's limited to the write endurance. If you write more than the warranty allows, you will lose that warranty.
Yes. That sounds about right to me. I agree that if you expect your system to be write-heavy on the SSD, then you ought to either reconfigure it so the writes go somewhere else (e.g., redirecting logs to a local HDD, NAS, or syslog server), or you need to get a SM* or PM* enterprise-grade SSD (as long as we're talking about Samsung).

I'm actually quite surprised by the lack of operating systems that are pre-configured out of the box to minimize writes to the root OS. They should guide the user into configuring the system so that, apart from configuration data (mostly /etc, which doesn't change that much anyway), not much else, if anything, gets written to the root partitions. NanoBSD is configured to things this way, for example.
 

Monoman

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Re: RAMdisk for caching, how do you actually have this implemented? Is this something that you've set in your hypervisor, or have you set a tiered storage hierarchy? The latter is particularly interesting to me, and I'm investigating options for doing this generally on many of my servers.
Just add extra ram to the client and made a client based RAM disk. I didn't mean anything crazy...

What torrent client are you using?
 

baddubbin

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Dec 26, 2017
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Just for clarification, is the over provisioning done on the controller, hypervisor or on each VM?

I have a pair of 500gb SSDs in Raid 1 in ESXI and have set them up as single data store. Not sure what is the ideal way to setup OP.

@baddubbin I speak from experience here. I've run a pair of 1tb EVO 850 SSD's on my 24/7 home server with around 40+ active low use VM's and I'm getting around a percent of wear-out per 6 months (2% a year). I run every VM you've listed on mine but do a couple tricks to help with trim as mentioned earlier.

-over provision. I set the OP to 20%
-limit the torrent client cache drive to a ram drive to help with thrashing.
-If you notice a slow-down, backup, do a secure wipe and restore. Will perform as new.

lmk if you have any other questions!
 
Last edited:

Monoman

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where you created the raid 1, is where you should do it. I modified my end sector alignment with hdparm from 1tb to 800gb.
 
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