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Am I crazy to use MLC SSDs and RAID 0?

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Anonymous
September 1, 2010 7:38:41 AM

I usually don't build servers. But the advent of a few technologies has made me reconsider:
1. SSDs kick butt and aren't generally available from the brand names
2. Core i7 faster and cheaper than Xeons
3. Virtualization means recovery is quick and simple (launch backup VM on backup server)

Things I'll probably be flamed about:
A. Sandforce (even consumer level) SSDs seem quite a bit less susceptible to wearing out, even with MLC. I actually feel many of the modern SSDs are more reliable than spinning disks.
B. With the price and small capacity of SSDs, I'm tempted to run RAID 0 (see #3 and #A above)
C. Due to #3, I'll not pursue redundant power supplies.

SO, do you think I'm crazy to consider the following for a general purpose server for small businesses?
* They will run a couple 2008 R2 VMs with SQL/Sharepoint/AD on one, Exchange/Files on another
* There will be a cheap backup server that can launch backed up VHDs in case of main server failure
* Emphasis is on value and longevity (performance) of the solution. I can upgrade SSD and memory mid-life as prices and capacity should improve rapidly.

MAIN SERVER
Core i7 (I was thinking 6 core, but would 4 core handle?)
Single CPU MB with USB 3 and SATA 3, 6 DDR3 slots
12G (would like 16G but isn't the next step up 24G?)
Single p/s around 550w
2 x 240G SSD in RAID 0
2 x 1T HDD in RAID 0 (holds install files and other large, non-critical file)
low end video card
Motherboard for RAID (x58 ICH10) as I understand with today's fast CPUs these outperform dedicated RAID cards for RAID 0 and 1.

More about : crazy mlc ssds raid

September 1, 2010 9:11:28 AM

Yes you are quite a crazy person (richly crazy one might say).. It gets even more crazy to not employ a dedicated Raid card and rely on the motherboard.. Also, Xeon's are made up to be used in a server environment.. They can run in pairs.. Two Xeon CPU's will easily outperform any single i7 in throughput and I/O operations which are critical parameters for a server machine..
Anonymous
September 1, 2010 6:06:30 PM

Emperus said:
Yes you are quite a crazy person (richly crazy one might say).. It gets even more crazy to not employ a dedicated Raid card and rely on the motherboard.. Also, Xeon's are made up to be used in a server environment.. They can run in pairs.. Two Xeon CPU's will easily outperform any single i7 in throughput and I/O operations which are critical parameters for a server machine..


Emprus, thanks for your comment. I should add that this server would serve an average of 15 users to give you an idea of what I mean by "small business."

Also, the alternative that these businesses can afford would typically be some lower end Dell server with integrated RAID and 4 disc SATA RAID 5
or for more demanding environments, 2 disc sata raid 1 + 4 disc sata raid 5 (separate database from logs).
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September 1, 2010 6:21:08 PM

Hey buddy, am sorry to use the crazy word so casually.. I'll hold back my initial recommendation.. You have a demanding environment, as explained by you, and as such the max you could build on the data speed the better.. The SSD Raid setup looks worth now.. But i would really recommend using a dedicated Raid card.. While you are at it, i'll hold firm on my recommendation for a multi processor Xeon setup.. They will provide you the required bandwidth and throughput to maintain seamless data traffic on both ends (server and client)..
September 11, 2010 1:12:25 PM

good luck with your server i was looking for a server build help check my topic
the ssd is fast enough
but the other two TB's i would reccomend to use them in raid 5 for data security you dont want to lose data at anytime you dont know your hdd's how many years they could live it could blow up in the next day
and for your server you dont need that dual xeon for running a server its quite expensive though you can do it with i7 processor i would go with the hexa-core 980x for that and consumer motherboard can do it you dont need that E-ATX motherboard for that get a case with a lot of capcity for hdd's then you might need good cooler for your cpu to avoid craches and laggy you want to look for something like corsair h70 liquied cooling dont buy a custome made liquied cooler it may spill and fry your hardware for your power supply i reccomend 80 plus certified at least if its not bronze or silver
good luck
September 11, 2010 8:28:18 PM

Answer these question:

1. Budget?

2. Mission critical?

3. How many concurrent VMs?

4. How long do you wish to go with out upgrading to a new platform?
September 11, 2010 8:49:08 PM

Whats your backup plan?
I see the 'cheap backup server' note but if it can run all your VM's why do you need the powerhouse? Also, should the x58 motherbd or PSU fail, how do you propse to get your non-backed-up data off the drives and into your 'backup pc' since you have both pair (SSD & HDD) in raid 0?
!