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SSD for VM servers

Discussion in 'Storage Drives' started by Nutbusta, 11 Mar 2010.

  1. Nutbusta

    Hitman

    Joined: 4 Oct 2004

    Posts: 790

    I currently have 4x Samsung 1gb f1's in raid 5 but running 4 or so server 2008 VM's I'm finding that disc time/queue is absolutely killing any performance. This is with a test environment which is just to help me pass my MCITP.

    RAM (8gb) and CPU usage may be nearly idle but the discs are just thrashing around like crazy with IO actions.

    I reckon SSD's are the answer since its all about seek time. I could really use 30 gb per server. The raid 5 will provide plenty of storage other wise but I could do with a 150gb odd drive to host the VM's themselves

    Any recommendations as to which drive?

    An SSD would indeed give some good performance for VM's?
     
  2. m_cozzy

    Hitman

    Joined: 13 Nov 2005

    Posts: 695

    Location: Havant

    Poor raid card perhaps? My 4 disk raid 5 runs 15+ machines without any issues using an adaptec 5405. Might be cheaper to uprate your card rather than splash out on ssd's.
     
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2010
  3. adsyf

    Associate

    Joined: 7 May 2008

    Posts: 89

    You have to be really carefull hardware wise if you are using esxi
     
  4. Nutbusta

    Hitman

    Joined: 4 Oct 2004

    Posts: 790

    adsyf - Not using ESX, Just VM Server

    m_cozzy - Good point. I'm just using on board raid. 15+ machines sounds really impressive. I guess your not talking about standard 7200 sata disks?
     
  5. m_cozzy

    Hitman

    Joined: 13 Nov 2005

    Posts: 695

    Location: Havant

    Exactly the same drives as yourself.
    It is my dedicated vmware box though running esxi, an ML110.
    I do understand the slow performance issue as I used to be able to only run 4 or so vm's on a single disk under esxi at an acceptable speed.
    It does sound like you would benefit from a proper hw raid card.. Your 4 disks would really fly then :).
     
  6. Nutbusta

    Hitman

    Joined: 4 Oct 2004

    Posts: 790

    What card are you using?
     
  7. m_cozzy

    Hitman

    Joined: 13 Nov 2005

    Posts: 695

    Location: Havant

    Already posted above, the adaptec 5405, as this is esxi compatible, cost about 300quid from memory.
    If you are using vmware server under windows or linux then you will have a wider choice of cheaper hardware to use.
     
  8. Zarf

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Jul 2007

    Posts: 2,527

    may as well just get a decent ssd instead if you're looking to spend that sort of money.
     
  9. m_cozzy

    Hitman

    Joined: 13 Nov 2005

    Posts: 695

    Location: Havant

    Well, it depends on required space doesn't it.

    £300 for a 128gb ssd, so at a push 4 virtual machines @ 30gb each with no room for snapshots

    OR

    £300, or likely much less, rocketraid perhaps? I seem to remember they are cheap & fast, using raid5 with existing disks giving 3TB of space for vm's.
     
  10. Zarf

    Mobster

    Joined: 11 Jul 2007

    Posts: 2,527

    Still, an SSD would provide far greater performance than the array. I've got an 8 drive RAID5 on a hardware controller, but my SSD provides the far superior experience for running VM's.

    This is just with VMWare for windows and one VM, with four SSD would have even more of an advantage.
     
  11. kerrgreg

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 4 Aug 2008

    Posts: 1,779

    Location: Waterlooville

    Without dout ssd's would be faster but your system seems to be not quiet right that
     
  12. Nutbusta

    Hitman

    Joined: 4 Oct 2004

    Posts: 790

    Well the Kingston 64 GB V series can be had for £120. 3 of them would provide plently of storage and should have reasonable access times.

    They don't suffer from stutter probs do they?
     
  13. Lanz

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 Nov 2002

    Posts: 6,855

    Location: Romford

    I read somewhere that SSDs arent good in Raid5, if this is just for development/learning, then you want to stripe them.
     
  14. Nutbusta

    Hitman

    Joined: 4 Oct 2004

    Posts: 790

    Yeah I'd stripe them and back them up to the big array