Optimal Storage Configuration


New Member
Jun 16, 2019
So, I have almost filled up the drives on the Dell r510 I purchased cheap a few years back. I could easily add more drives but I found out the ones I got are SMR drives. This brings me to my next issue. Last year I purchased a Dell r720xd that takes 24 2.5in drives. I did it because I wanted to start combining some stuff into VMs. My plan was to buy some relatively cheap 2.5 inch 5TB drives and setup an array, throw in 2 SATA SSDs, and two NVMe drives on PCIE cards for write caching. I then find out recently that all of the 5TB 2.5inch 15mm drives I have been looking at are also SMR. I guess under normal use with write cache and SSD tiers it would not be the end of the would UNLESS there is a disk failure. Enter my delima.

1) Go with the original plan to build the r720xd and purchase a MD1200 for it and use four relatively large SAS drives. Use the 2.5in slots in the Dell r720xd for adding SATA or SAS SSDs. Still go with the NVMe Tier.

2) Go ahead and just pickup a used Dell r720xd and use 3.5 in SAS drives and NVMe tier. Skip the SSD tier because I am not a fan of sacrificing 3.5in drive bays for 1TB drives.

Finally, I am currently running the NAS drive in a complete mirrored configuration in NTFS. I think that was a mistake. At minimum I would like to go with ReFS. But should I just go ahead and choose parody since I will have a NVMe cache? I would probably start out with four 12tb SAS drives with the ability to add eight more in sets of four. I found out this last time that adding drives in mirrored mode is a nightmare. Again, this server would have minimal writes. Mostly it would be an archive, plex, and NVR hypervised server. I could in theory go with SMR drives again but would run the risk of having multiple drive failures when resilvering.