Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?



  • I am in the process of putting together a Dell Poweredge T440 and wanted to go all SSD. Is it worth putting a PERC H740 8GB NV Cache controller in or what is appropriate for a RAID controller?



  • @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    Is it worth putting a PERC H740 8GB NV Cache controller in or what is appropriate for a RAID controller?

    Well that's a decision that can't be made at the hardware level. If you don't provide hardware RAID, what is your storage plan?

    If you plan to use software RAID or some form of RAIN, the PERC is useless or potentially even a problem. But if you don't, it's critical.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    Is it worth putting a PERC H740 8GB NV Cache controller in or what is appropriate for a RAID controller?

    Well that's a decision that can't be made at the hardware level. If you don't provide hardware RAID, what is your storage plan?

    If you plan to use software RAID or some form of RAIN, the PERC is useless or potentially even a problem. But if you don't, it's critical.

    Most likely going with hardware RAID as we'll be running Hyper-V. Just curious if I were looking at software RAID I would still use an H330 for passthrough???



  • @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    Is it worth putting a PERC H740 8GB NV Cache controller in or what is appropriate for a RAID controller?

    Well that's a decision that can't be made at the hardware level. If you don't provide hardware RAID, what is your storage plan?

    If you plan to use software RAID or some form of RAIN, the PERC is useless or potentially even a problem. But if you don't, it's critical.

    Most likely going with hardware RAID as we'll be running Hyper-V. Just curious if I were looking at software RAID I would still use an H330 for passthrough???

    Yes



  • @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    I am in the process of putting together a Dell Poweredge T440 and wanted to go all SSD. Is it worth putting a PERC H740 8GB NV Cache controller in or what is appropriate for a RAID controller?

    What an appropriate RAID controller is depends on a lot of things besides the type of drives you want to use with it. Will the RAID card you mentioned work well with SSDs? Yes. I've used the previous gen RAID card with enterprise SSDs and it was excellent.



  • @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    Most likely going with hardware RAID as we'll be running Hyper-V.

    Well fix that and go to KVM 😉



  • @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    Just curious if I were looking at software RAID I would still use an H330 for passthrough???

    Yes, with software RAID the hardware RAID is completely useless. It's disabled, so every penny spent on it is lost.



  • @Obsolesce said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    I am in the process of putting together a Dell Poweredge T440 and wanted to go all SSD. Is it worth putting a PERC H740 8GB NV Cache controller in or what is appropriate for a RAID controller?

    What an appropriate RAID controller is depends on a lot of things besides the type of drives you want to use with it. Will the RAID card you mentioned work well with SSDs? Yes. I've used the previous gen RAID card with enterprise SSDs and it was excellent.

    Thanks for the reply. So would SSD be overkill if using the H740? Or would I be better off saving some money and getting 10K RPM drives? This server is going to be hosting MS SQL Server with about 30 users.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    Most likely going with hardware RAID as we'll be running Hyper-V.

    Well fix that and go to KVM 😉

    One of these days I probably will but at this point Hyper-v is what I know and work with in most situations. If it makes you feel better I am moving them from an ESXi environment.



  • @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    Most likely going with hardware RAID as we'll be running Hyper-V.

    Well fix that and go to KVM 😉

    One of these days I probably will but at this point Hyper-v is what I know and work with in most situations. If it makes you feel better I am moving them from an ESXi environment.

    THat is a bit better, yes.



  • @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    I am in the process of putting together a Dell Poweredge T440 and wanted to go all SSD. Is it worth putting a PERC H740 8GB NV Cache controller in or what is appropriate for a RAID controller?

    I think not. The H330 (LSI SAS 3008 controller) will push hundreds of thousands of IOPs. The bottleneck will be your SSDs.



  • @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    So would SSD be overkill if using the H740? Or would I be better off saving some money and getting 10K RPM drives? This server is going to be hosting MS SQL Server with about 30 users.

    Only go with HDDs when you don't have any other choice. SSDs will be much faster. A single SSD has IOPs in the several tens of thousands range while a HDD can only do a couple of hundred.

    Read intensive SATA SSDs are getting close to the same price as 10K SAS. If you want to save money don't buy SAS SSDs, because you don't need them.

    If you want to save even more money don't buy drives from Dell. Unless you're an enterprise customer, you pay 2-3 times as much for the same drive. For SSDs look for Samsung and Intel enterprise drives. They are the top two brands. Samsung PM883 or Intel S4510 in your case. There are other similar models. Expect to pay about $220 for 1 TB.



  • @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @syko24 said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    Is it worth putting a PERC H740 8GB NV Cache controller in or what is appropriate for a RAID controller?

    Well that's a decision that can't be made at the hardware level. If you don't provide hardware RAID, what is your storage plan?

    If you plan to use software RAID or some form of RAIN, the PERC is useless or potentially even a problem. But if you don't, it's critical.

    Most likely going with hardware RAID as we'll be running Hyper-V. Just curious if I were looking at software RAID I would still use an H330 for passthrough???

    Maybe it's the beer, but why would you go for software RAID if you can get budget for hardware RAID?



  • @notverypunny said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    Maybe it's the beer, but why would you go for software RAID if you can get budget for hardware RAID?

    First, because budget should never be a factor in a decision. What's best should determine the budget, never the other way around. We never spend only because we can.

    Second, lots of reasons. Features, performance, etc.

    Youtube Video



  • @notverypunny said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    but why would you go for software RAID if you can get budget for hardware RAID?

    The real question is... if you have access to enterprise software RAID, why would anyone spend money on hardware RAID?

    Hyper-V doesn't have enterprise software RAID options, obviously, so needs hardware RAID. But there is a reason that hardware RAID is for SMB only and enterprise has always been software RAID only.


  • Vendor

    @Pete-S said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    I think not. The H330 (LSI SAS 3008 controller) will push hundreds of thousands of IOPs. The bottleneck will be your SSDs.

    The H330 is the crap HBA that has a cut-down queue depth. If memory serves, it's maximum queue depth is equal to a single SAS drive (256 commands). It's still better than the garbage tier H300 from the last generation.

    The HBA 330 is the version that has full queue depth.
    Note, for high-performance setups, going all NVMe is easier (no need for an HBA).


  • Vendor

    @Pete-S said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    Only go with HDDs when you don't have any other choice. SSDs will be much faster. A single SSD has IOPs in the several tens of thousands range while a HDD can only do a couple of hundred.

    The ultra low end .1DWPD drives can have terrible sustained write latency. I'm not convinced spinning drives might win in this category.

    Read intensive SATA SSDs are getting close to the same price as 10K SAS. If you want to save money don't buy SAS SSDs, because you don't need them.

    The cheap ones fall over once you exceed the limited SLC or DRAM buffer. Beware using these for large DB copy jobs etc.

    If you want to save even more money don't buy drives from Dell

    This is... problematic. I've seen a server OEM run into an issue between their HBA/RAID controller nad a given drive, and get the firmware patch only released for their make/model of the drives, and not the general-purpose regular ones. Also, good luck getting the out of band to properly provide SMART. Also unless you are buying something that someone validated, good luck with HotAdd support, or having to use one-off solutions like Intel VMD when doing a pass through drives.

    For SSDs look for Samsung and Intel enterprise drives

    Going to point out that Intel shares fabs with Micron.

    Samsung PM883 or Intel S4510 in your case

    Ehhh, be careful here. The PM8xx is the bargain basement cheap Samsung SATA devices. Samsung in the earlier versions of this series had some... interesting firmware bugs so make sure you patch your drives.

    The Intel 4510 with newer firmware should work around the previous performance problems on the last generation of these (The S37xx was a nightmare on low QD writes), but again, this isn't the fast drive. This is the cheaper one. You normally have something act as a write buffer to shield these drives from aggressive writes.



  • @StorageNinja said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @Pete-S said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    I think not. The H330 (LSI SAS 3008 controller) will push hundreds of thousands of IOPs. The bottleneck will be your SSDs.

    The H330 is the crap HBA that has a cut-down queue depth. If memory serves, it's maximum queue depth is equal to a single SAS drive (256 commands). It's still better than the garbage tier H300 from the last generation.

    The HBA 330 is the version that has full queue depth.
    Note, for high-performance setups, going all NVMe is easier (no need for an HBA).

    Well, maybe you're mixing up the controllers in your memory. Queue depth on the H330 is 895 compared to 928 on the H730/730P/H830.

    Dell did firmware upgrades years ago that increased the queue depths on a number of their cards.The limited queue depth wasn't a controller issue, it was a firmware issue.

    The SAS3008 controller on the H330 supports over a million IOPS and can push 6 GB/sec.
    You just got to use it for the right thing - striping and mirroring, not parity raid. It doesn't have a XOR hardware engine.



  • @StorageNinja said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    Ehhh, be careful here. The PM8xx is the bargain basement cheap Samsung SATA devices. Samsung in the earlier versions of this series had some... interesting firmware bugs so make sure you patch your drives.

    Always good to update the firmware if you're having problems.

    I wouldn't call the PM series "bargain basement cheap Samsung SATA devices". It's their datacenter series for read-intensive workloads. What most workloads are when you use the SSDs as local storage on a VM host. It's going to be running SQL server with 30 users. That's the OPs use case - not as cache for an enterprise storage array.

    Of course there are faster and better products but you got to put things in perspective.



  • @Pete-S said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @StorageNinja said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    Ehhh, be careful here. The PM8xx is the bargain basement cheap Samsung SATA devices. Samsung in the earlier versions of this series had some... interesting firmware bugs so make sure you patch your drives.

    Always good to update the firmware if you're having problems.

    I wouldn't call the PM series "bargain basement cheap Samsung SATA devices". It's their datacenter series for read-intensive workloads. What most workloads are when you use the SSDs as local storage on a VM host. It's going to be running SQL server with 30 users. That's the OPs use case - not as cache for an enterprise storage array.

    Of course there are faster and better products but you got to put things in perspective.

    I was wondering that too - slow SSDs are likely still lightyears faster than HDDs. no?



  • @Dashrender said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @Pete-S said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @StorageNinja said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    Ehhh, be careful here. The PM8xx is the bargain basement cheap Samsung SATA devices. Samsung in the earlier versions of this series had some... interesting firmware bugs so make sure you patch your drives.

    Always good to update the firmware if you're having problems.

    I wouldn't call the PM series "bargain basement cheap Samsung SATA devices". It's their datacenter series for read-intensive workloads. What most workloads are when you use the SSDs as local storage on a VM host. It's going to be running SQL server with 30 users. That's the OPs use case - not as cache for an enterprise storage array.

    Of course there are faster and better products but you got to put things in perspective.

    I was wondering that too - slow SSDs are likely still lightyears faster than HDDs. no?

    Yes, they're much faster, uses less power and have higher reliability than HDDs (if we still are talking about enterprise SSDs).

    So "slow" has to be put in perspective. The interfaces have limitations and a lot of SSDs are limited by their interface.

    • SATA-3 ~500MB/sec
    • SAS-3 ~1GB/sec
    • NVMe ~4GB/sec

    SAS and NVMe can also be dual ported and have twice the transfer rate above.
    NVMe is simply outstanding. And the drives themselves are roughly the same price as SAS for comparable models.



  • @Pete-S

    NVMe is simply outstanding. And the drives themselves are roughly the same price as SAS for >comparable models.

    I wish there were more choices for whiteboxed servers as far as NVMe goes. I've not found any prosumer motherboards that support dual M.2 22110 and there are virtually no choices at all for U.2 unless going with a vendor (e.g. Dell, HPE, etc...)



  • @biggen said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    I wish there were more choices for whiteboxed servers as far as NVMe goes. I've not found any prosumer motherboards

    The issue here is trying to use prosumer instead of enterprise. This is one of those places where consumer and enterprise will never overlap. Whitebox has no issue with that stuff, but consumer (which prosumer is a part of) does. If you whitebox with enterprise gear, you'll find this in abundance.



  • @scottalanmiller Just not as commonplace to find enterprise gear to whitebox with. Where are you looking for enterprise motherboards?



  • @biggen said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @scottalanmiller Just not as commonplace to find enterprise gear to whitebox with. Where are you looking for enterprise motherboards?

    Supermicro



  • @black3dynamite said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @biggen said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @scottalanmiller Just not as commonplace to find enterprise gear to whitebox with. Where are you looking for enterprise motherboards?

    Supermicro

    And Tyan, Gigabyte, Intel etc. Goto newegg and look under server motherboards. Maybe you can find suppliers on ebay and amazon as well.

    Vendors that have enterprise stuff are not always selling directly to consumers. Consumers requires a lot of support and hand holding, while system integrators who are their usual customers are suppose to know what they are doing.



  • @black3dynamite said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @biggen said in Dell PERC H740 with SSDs?:

    @scottalanmiller Just not as commonplace to find enterprise gear to whitebox with. Where are you looking for enterprise motherboards?

    Supermicro

    These are definitely the 800lb gorillas of enterprise whiteboxing.


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