Recommendations for VM storage

jSherz

New Member
Dec 23, 2015
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Hi there,

Are there any guides or articles on choosing good storage for a home VM server setup? I'm currently running a md software RAID10 of 4 consumer 2.5" HDDs (7100 RPM) which are providing good-enough performance for me messing around with a few VMs but are now starting to feel a bit on the sluggish side (just gone over the 10 VM mark while testing various container / Docker OSs with very few VMs being "active" at the same time although most of those will be gone soon).

The main reasoning for the above setup was a very tight budget but I'm looking at future expansion plans and have been mulling around the following ideas:
  • Used 2.5" 10K enterprise HDDs in RAID 10 or ZFS striped mirrors
  • Consumer SSDs in RAID 10 or the above ZFS config
  • Consumer SSDs in RAID 1 (buying new pairs when my requirements for storage increase)
Overall storage goal is roughly 500GB usable space.

Please could you recommend a good place to start researching what I should use or, alternatively, an example (budget) configuration?

Other server info: CentOS 7, 2 x E5-2670, 64GB ECC DDR3 RAM, LSI 9211-8i (IT mode)
 

T_Minus

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Feb 15, 2015
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Most are going to suggest using enterprise ssd you can find on ebay for much cheaper than retail.

Intel Specifically but there are numerous HGST models that are great too!

Intel S3500 in a pool of mirrors to achieve 500GB is likely going to be cheapest to build.

$45 for 160GB S3500 Intel
x6 Drives
----------------
= $270 for 480GB Usable out of 960GB

It won't be the fastest setup but it sure won't break the bank either.

Additioanlly if budget allows throw 2 more in there for 8 total for a little more performance and capacity... and if you can find an Intel S3700 200GB add that as a SLOG and performance should climb a bit too.
 

jSherz

New Member
Dec 23, 2015
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Most are going to suggest using enterprise ssd you can find on ebay for much cheaper than retail.

Intel Specifically but there are numerous HGST models that are great too!

Intel S3500 in a pool of mirrors to achieve 500GB is likely going to be cheapest to build.

$45 for 160GB S3500 Intel
x6 Drives
----------------
= $270 for 480GB Usable out of 960GB

It won't be the fastest setup but it sure won't break the bank either.

Additioanlly if budget allows throw 2 more in there for 8 total for a little more performance and capacity... and if you can find an Intel S3700 200GB add that as a SLOG and performance should climb a bit too.
I can't seem to find any of those drives at that price on eBay (being from the UK doesn't help). All of the ones I can see on eBay are > £100 (roughly $142 currently) even with the search set to Worldwide.

Edit: Are they quite common but snapped up quickly? I'll try and keep an eye out for them over the next few weeks.
 
Last edited:

T_Minus

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Feb 15, 2015
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They come and go quick -- there were just a bunch on there from some datacenter for that price, and some other 80gb for less but you'd obviously need more to get capacity... there's some $90 240GB right now and some $115 300gb right now too... but, if I were you, and you had the available room I would go for 6 drive S3500 minimum 8 drive optimal for the gained performance from the additional drives. That should be a HUGE performance gain over 4x 2.5' 7200RPM spinners :) and still not break the bank.
 

jSherz

New Member
Dec 23, 2015
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They come and go quick -- there were just a bunch on there from some datacenter for that price, and some other 80gb for less but you'd obviously need more to get capacity... there's some $90 240GB right now and some $115 300gb right now too... but, if I were you, and you had the available room I would go for 6 drive S3500 minimum 8 drive optimal for the gained performance from the additional drives. That should be a HUGE performance gain over 4x 2.5' 7200RPM spinners :) and still not break the bank.
That's great, thank you for the advice!
 

T_Minus

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No problem! If you wait you can find great deals on them!!
 

Danic

Member
Feb 6, 2015
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jrdm.us
Most are going to suggest using enterprise ssd you can find on ebay for much cheaper than retail.
I'm in a similar situation with OP, I want to upgrade to SSDs on two of ESXi boxes. Enterprise really worth it for home server? I see 240/256gb ssd deals for sub $70 all the time. Unlike OP, I will be attaching mine to a LSI 2008 or LSI 2108 controller. Any known issues with such a setup?
 

T_Minus

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Feb 15, 2015
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I'm in a similar situation with OP, I want to upgrade to SSDs on two of ESXi boxes. Enterprise really worth it for home server? I see 240/256gb ssd deals for sub $70 all the time. Unlike OP, I will be attaching mine to a LSI 2008 or LSI 2108 controller. Any known issues with such a setup?
$90 for 240GB S3500 Intel -- yes that is worth it -- over something like a Samsung EVO.

Some people have had issues with Samsung drives on LSI Hardware RAID controllers but I'm not sure why but a 2008 is fine for Samsung drives if you do go that route.