SSDs for a file server

Geran

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Oct 25, 2016
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What are the recommended SSDs for a file server to serve as my the main storage server for my wife's and I files?
 

Geran

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Oct 25, 2016
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How many GB or TB ?
Well I haven't actually purchased the server yet for the them as I'm trying to see which ones are financially feasible and that would determine which one to purchase. If you want to know the potential options for the server I can post them if that would help.

I would like to have anywhere from a total of 5-10TB with some redundancy in there. The OS would either be OMV or Storage Spaces since Unraid doesn't really do well with SSD arrays.
 

EffrafaxOfWug

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Feb 12, 2015
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Well assuming this is mostly-read-only media files as opposed to VMs and suchlike, and you're really set on SSDs as opposed to platters, combining dirt-cheap MX300/MX500 2TB with a drive pooling technology like unraid would probably be the most cost-effective solution.

If you need 24/7 performance and/or RAID you'll likely need to splurge big on enterprise SSDs.

But in all honesty you need to state your requirements first :)
 

Geran

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Oct 25, 2016
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Well assuming this is mostly-read-only media files as opposed to VMs and suchlike, and you're really set on SSDs as opposed to platters, combining dirt-cheap MX300/MX500 2TB with a drive pooling technology like unraid would probably be the most cost-effective solution.

If you need 24/7 performance and/or RAID you'll likely need to splurge big on enterprise SSDs.

But in all honesty you need to state your requirements first :)
Thank you for the reply.

This past weekend I built my wife and I small form factor PCs with only m.2 storage. I want to build a file server to supplement the platters that used to be in our old desktops. She mainly needs it for photos and I need it mainly for documents and other small items that aren't accessed very often.

I don't think UnRaid handles SSDs as an array very well due to the TRIM function or at least that what they say on their wiki page. I currently have an UnRaid box with 12 8tb drives in it serving as my media only storage.

Is that enough for requirements or do you need more?
 

T_Minus

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Feb 15, 2015
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Well, anything >1 you really can't use consumers due to the firmware \ garbage collection \ requirement of TRIM.

I would vote for Intel S3500 or Intel S3510 due to price\value :) There are also great deals on P3605 NVME if you could accommodate a number of those :)
 

Geran

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Oct 25, 2016
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Well, anything >1 you really can't use consumers due to the firmware \ garbage collection \ requirement of TRIM.

I would vote for Intel S3500 or Intel S3510 due to price\value :) There are also great deals on P3605 NVME if you could accommodate a number of those :)
The P3605 would be perfect if it didn't require a NVME backplane which would definitely be out of my budget. The size of them would mean I wouldn't have to get a ton of them right away and just add more when the deals are good.

As for the other two, they are interesting and wouldn't completely saturate a 10gb connection. I could also use either a SAS2 or SAS3 backplane.
 

T_Minus

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Feb 15, 2015
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The P3605 would be perfect if it didn't require a NVME backplane which would definitely be out of my budget. The size of them would mean I wouldn't have to get a ton of them right away and just add more when the deals are good.

As for the other two, they are interesting and wouldn't completely saturate a 10gb connection. I could also use either a SAS2 or SAS3 backplane.
Not so much about "1" saturating, but at the price you can buy enough too ;)
Which of course also increases performance, %-wise based on your configuration.
 

BlueLineSwinger

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Mar 11, 2013
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Thank you for the reply.

This past weekend I built my wife and I small form factor PCs with only m.2 storage. I want to build a file server to supplement the platters that used to be in our old desktops. She mainly needs it for photos and I need it mainly for documents and other small items that aren't accessed very often.

I don't think UnRaid handles SSDs as an array very well due to the TRIM function or at least that what they say on their wiki page. I currently have an UnRaid box with 12 8tb drives in it serving as my media only storage.

Is that enough for requirements or do you need more?

SSDs would seem to be costly overkill for such needs. And why not just use/expand the existing server?

Also, what does your network look like? If it's a typical 1 Gb setup, pretty much any recent HDD is capable of saturating it in sustained R/W. SSDs in the NAS won't gain you anything.
 

EffrafaxOfWug

Radioactive Member
Feb 12, 2015
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If this is just for media files then yeah, all-SSD is massive overkill. Unless you have a need to saturate 1GbE with random I/O or saturate 10GbE with sequential I'd suggest a regular platter-based RAID array, optionally fronted with some SSD cache if you're feeling racy. From a quick google though OMV doesn't seem to advertise any SSD caching support even though dm-cache has been around and stable for years now, and I've not really got any experience with storage spaces other than what I've read on this site.

Using pool tech like unraid allows you to use cheap consumer SSDs because they're all treated like single drives and thus you don't run into the steady state problem, and the drives can do their garbage collection; this goes out of the window with consumer drives in RAID arrays - but then I'd hazard that your performance requirements are low enough that this wouldn't be a problem. Similarly, I don't think trim is all that important in the grand scheme of things as long as garbage collection gets enough idle time to be able to work.

Otherwise if you're really looking to build a RAID array - say six 1.8TB D3-S4510 (about the cheapest pseudo-enterprise SSD you can get right now if you but new, at least where I come from) in RAID6 - you're looking at a minimum spend of $3000 just on the storage, whereas a couple of 10TB discs in RAID1 with maybe a small SSD in front of them will leave you with enough spare change for a holiday.
 

pricklypunter

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Nov 10, 2015
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I wouldn't even consider SSD's for the storage, unless you are really wanting it just for bragging rights. There is little return that I can see for the monetary investment there. A small raid array with some reliable platters will go a long way to accomplishing your goals and will easily be able to keep up with general filer duties :)
 

Evan

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Jan 6, 2016
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Ok I am going to be the reverse of the other guys, all my files even static and non performance sensitive ones are on SSD. Granted cheaper SATA SSD (Samsung pm863).

Spinning disks mostly only for backup.
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Thank you for the reply.

This past weekend I built my wife and I small form factor PCs with only m.2 storage. I want to build a file server to supplement the platters that used to be in our old desktops. She mainly needs it for photos and I need it mainly for documents and other small items that aren't accessed very often.

I don't think UnRaid handles SSDs as an array very well due to the TRIM function or at least that what they say on their wiki page. I currently have an UnRaid box with 12 8tb drives in it serving as my media only storage.

Is that enough for requirements or do you need more?
Okay - why SSDs? If it's just for photos, documents and small items, you are looking at media that will be written to once and read multiple times (if that's even the case). Chances are, unless you run some 10/40Gigabit networking magic (with RDMA or something like that), you wouldn't even feel the effects of faster media overall - 802.11ac traffic for most home users top out at 866mbps, or roughly 100Mbyte/sec - gigabit networking is only marginally faster (and that's assuming good GigE drivers, if you have Realtek GigE your throughput through their meh drivers will be around 60MBytes/sec) - that's around the numbers seen in 7200 rpm mechanical drives. In that case, the drive type doesn't matter too much as much as the ability to have resilience (that's what RAID or datastore redundancy is for). There are no reason to think that SSDs are much more resilient against failures versus HDDs, especially in a homelabs environment (when SSDs die, it's usually their controller either failing outright, or if a series of pages fail and renders the drive effectively useless). Unless you are in an environment where there are plenty of physical shock to the storage media in question (like, you live in a mobile home and do plenty on the road), solid state drive requirements are rather moot.

One thing that does matter? The cost. For a typical 4TB 3.5" drive, that goes for about $99 (Ultrastar 7k400,Toshiba MG03A, etc) you are looking at 2.5 cents/GB of storage. For an average 512GB SSD going for $99 (Crucial MX500 and etc) you are looking at 19.5 Cents (US) per GB. So if there are no significant performance advantage to a network server, no significant benefits to their resiliency and they cost nearly 10x more, what's the point of going solid state?
 
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Jannis Jacobsen

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Mar 19, 2016
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not even enterprise tend to use ssd/flash for fileservers, unless there are some specific io intensive use cases, but imho those cases are pretty rare

-j
 

LaMerk

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Jun 13, 2017
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Just FYI, I have got some performance issues with SSDs in RAID5 or parity Storage Spaces. Write performance was about 30 MB/s. Not sure what was reason, either disks or RAID controller, but please make sure that you are getting reasonable numbers after the deployment.
 

pricklypunter

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Nov 10, 2015
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Just FYI, I have got some performance issues with SSDs in RAID5 or parity Storage Spaces. Write performance was about 30 MB/s. Not sure what was reason, either disks or RAID controller, but please make sure that you are getting reasonable numbers after the deployment.
Hitting the cache limit? Retail SSD's? You really need enterprise grade SSD's that can suck up whatever you throw at them if you are going to put them in an array, doesn't need to be leading edge blistering fast, just consistent. Intel and HGST would be my go to :)
 

vrod

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Jan 18, 2015
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Why not get the S4500 or S4510 series SSD? Nice endurance, performance and price!
 

Joel

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Jan 30, 2015
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Just FYI, I have got some performance issues with SSDs in RAID5 or parity Storage Spaces. Write performance was about 30 MB/s. Not sure what was reason, either disks or RAID controller, but please make sure that you are getting reasonable numbers after the deployment.
My understanding of Storage spaces (I just recently looked into this) is that it's aware of the presence or lack of PLP on an SSD, and the OS will not consider a write safe until it is committed to NVRAM (slow), unless it has PLP in which case it considers data safe when it hits the cache (fast).