Recommend a vSAN all flash cache drive?

seang86s

Member
Feb 19, 2013
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Hi everyone. I'm looking for four vSAN cache drives for my cluster but I'm having trouble finding something affordable. Optane p4801x is too expensive. I have 4 nodes with 6 SATA SSDs (Samsung 960 Gig) each. I'm looking to run ESXi 7.0u2 or higher. Its doesn't have to certified as this is a homelab setup but I am looking for something reliable. Would like to get several years out of them. Looking for M.2 format. Used on eBay to save a few bucks is acceptable too.
 

i386

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Mar 18, 2016
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Is m.2 a hard requirement?
What's the budget?

If you don't mind pcie addon cards check the bay for radian rms-200. (I bought 3 pieces for under 100€/120% each :D)
 

Rand__

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2014
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900p U2 with adapter?

O/c it depends on how many processes/users you run... for fewer Optane is best, for higher numbers most nvme should scale fine. Dont use consumer drives unless your dataset is limited in size (does fit into cache).

Don't expect wonders with Optane either, when that's full performance will tank (my tests, mabye you have more luck)
 

nev_neo

Active Member
Jul 31, 2013
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Is m.2 a hard requirement?
What's the budget?

If you don't mind pcie addon cards check the bay for radian rms-200. (I bought 3 pieces for under 100€/120% each :D)
RE the radian RMS-200, have you used it as a vsan cache ? I've been looking and could not find any instance of these being used with vmware.
 

DavidRa

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Aug 3, 2015
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Intel P3605 cards are PCIe and would be one I'd consider if m.2 isn't a hard requirement, though at a couple hundred each for 1.6TB they're not cheap. I do think it's a reasonably good value option, though.
 

i386

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2016
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RE the radian RMS-200, have you used it as a vsan cache ? I've been looking and could not find any instance of these being used with vmware.
I didn't try them with vsan.They are "vanilla" nvme devices though and should work without problems in esxi/vsan.
 
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Propaganda

Active Member
Dec 6, 2017
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Are you worried about using sata drives? I heard of issues with using onboard controllers and sata drives so i went full sas on my vsan.
 

liudehua

New Member
Sep 25, 2022
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Is m.2 a hard requirement?
What's the budget?

If you don't mind pcie addon cards check the bay for radian rms-200. (I bought 3 pieces for under 100€/120% each :D)
I have radian rms-200,but not certified vsan.
 

dswartz

Active Member
Jul 14, 2011
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I didn't try them with vsan.They are "vanilla" nvme devices though and should work without problems in esxi/vsan.
I have 3 hosts running 7.0.3 with 2 1TB samsung pro drives. Not officially supported but working fine.
 

BoredSysadmin

Not affiliated with Maxell
Mar 2, 2019
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Don't place the vcenter on the vsan volume built from consumer SSDs. Ask me how I know.
 

BoredSysadmin

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Mar 2, 2019
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Thought that was fairly obvious, but I'll entertain you as requested.

had 3 hosts running 6.7 (too old for 7 hardware) and vcenter 7. vsan on 4x 250gb cheap consumer SSDs per host (got 'em free)
working ok, and speed was actually decent. The initial setup wasn't one click, but not too terrible, especially after removing the alert for an un-supported storage adapter and tuning some vSAN advanced settings (forgot what exactly, something had to do with my small-sized ssds)
The key to decent performance is at least a 10gig network.

One bright day a few years later, the cluster just crashed. No vcenter, no easy way to troubleshoot, nor bring it back. I suspect the recent migration of my software NVR to the vSAN (excessive writes) was what broke "the camel's back" of some SSD.

tl;dr:
Long story short - Kids, Don't use vSans on consumer SSDs or at least don't put vCenter on such vsan volume.
 

dswartz

Active Member
Jul 14, 2011
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Well, that something sh*t the bed was obvious. This was like driving along and seeing a serious accident, and knowing you shouldn't slow down to look :) FWIW, my VCSA is on a ZFS NAS.