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Scarous

Server Storage, Not Enough SATA/Power Ports

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I recently purchased this server: https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/povw/poweredge-t40

And this SSD: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PGC3JKQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

By random stroke of luck, Amazon sent me the entire SKU package for the SSDs and then told me to keep it at no additional charge. So now I have 10 480gb SSDs... Is there any practical method of putting more than 3 in this server? There are only 4 SATA ports on the mobo, and 4 SATA power cables. 1 for the DVD drive, 3 left over (which I have populated with 3 of these SSDs). There are 3 3.5 inch bays, and I have seen trays that let you fit 2 2.5 inch drives into the same space. Is it possible to get 6 of these drives in the space, split the SATA power cables with adapters, and get a PCIe SATA controller? Is that even worth it? What do you recommend? I am looking to get more storage on this server which is currently used for Minecraft, Terraria, random game server hosting. I do not need a ton of storage, maybe between 1.5-3tb would be plenty for my backups. 

 

Thanks! 

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Sell 3-4 SSDs and get a mechanical drive if you need disk space.

Or get a 1 TB QLC SSD like that 100$ Intel one... will be good enough for reads, also decent for writes (you're not gonna write tens of GB within a super short time to fill its cache)

even a tlc drive is cheap.

 

I wouldn't bother with an extra controller, you have 4 sata ports, enough

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10 minutes ago, mariushm said:

Sell 3-4 SSDs and get a mechanical drive if you need disk space.

Or get a 1 TB QLC SSD like that 100$ Intel one... will be good enough for reads, also decent for writes (you're not gonna write tens of GB within a super short time to fill its cache)

even a tlc drive is cheap.

 

I wouldn't bother with an extra controller, you have 4 sata ports, enough

OP has 10 SSDs on hand, 5tb worth of drives.

 

If OP was to set them up with 1 as the boot drive and 9 as a software RAID 0 or RAID 5, the lifespan of the drives would be increased by a factor of 7x - 9x.  Mainly because 1tb of writes to that array would only write ~100gb per drive.

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Just now, KarathKasun said:

OP has 10 SSDs on hand.

4 x 480 = 2 TB

He said he wants 1.5-3TB

 

Sell 3  480 GB SSDs for let's say 35$ each... buy a 960GB / 1 TB SSD for 100$ or spend 200$ for a 2TB SSD

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Just now, mariushm said:

4 x 480 = 2 TB

He said he wants 1.5-3TB

 

Sell 3  480 GB SSDs for let's say 35$ each... buy a 960GB / 1 TB SSD for 100$ or spend 200$ for a 2TB SSD

RAID 5 gives redundancy and would yield something like 3-4tb depending on how many hot spares you allocate.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
38 minutes ago, KarathKasun said:

OP has 10 SSDs on hand, 5tb worth of drives.

 

If OP was to set them up with 1 as the boot drive and 9 as a software RAID 0 or RAID 5, the lifespan of the drives would be increased by a factor of 7x - 9x.  Mainly because 1tb of writes to that array would only write ~100gb per drive.

What would be the best way to fit these drives in the server? 

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8 hours ago, KarathKasun said:

OP has 10 SSDs on hand, 5tb worth of drives.

 

If OP was to set them up with 1 as the boot drive and 9 as a software RAID 0 or RAID 5, the lifespan of the drives would be increased by a factor of 7x - 9x.  Mainly because 1tb of writes to that array would only write ~100gb per drive.

 

In real world, you'd actually have a longer lifespan with just 1-3 bigger SSDs.

A bigger SSD will have a bigger area of NAND memory it can use in SLC or MLC mode as a write cache, reducing the erase cycles of each NAND page. Also, the controller will have a larger pool of available nand pages to shuffle data around, before it has to resort to actively moving content from pages to erase them and make pages available.

Also, you write less actual data per SSD, but you'll still writing recovery information to multiple drives so the actual amount of data you write on a drive at the end of the day will increase.


You'd also need a fancy 12-16 port SAS/SATA controller to do a RAID with 10 drives, you'd be limited to 6-8 with a cheaper controller ( raid 5/6 with 1-2 hot spares), making the total available space around 2 TB.

 

Using 10 ssds in a server like this, for this application, just seems like a waste of SSDs and a problem waiting to happen. I'd just sell a few of them to get some money and buy a single big SSD.

You even have 2 pci-e x4 slots so you could get a M.2 to pci-e x4 adapter card (ebay, a few dollars) and put a nvme m.2 on pci-e x4 and you have 1-2 TB of SSD at up to 3-4 GB/s

That and one or two 480 GB SSDs on plain SATA and your problem is solved.

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13 hours ago, mariushm said:

 

In real world, you'd actually have a longer lifespan with just 1-3 bigger SSDs.

A bigger SSD will have a bigger area of NAND memory it can use in SLC or MLC mode as a write cache, reducing the erase cycles of each NAND page. Also, the controller will have a larger pool of available nand pages to shuffle data around, before it has to resort to actively moving content from pages to erase them and make pages available.

Also, you write less actual data per SSD, but you'll still writing recovery information to multiple drives so the actual amount of data you write on a drive at the end of the day will increase.


You'd also need a fancy 12-16 port SAS/SATA controller to do a RAID with 10 drives, you'd be limited to 6-8 with a cheaper controller ( raid 5/6 with 1-2 hot spares), making the total available space around 2 TB.

 

Using 10 ssds in a server like this, for this application, just seems like a waste of SSDs and a problem waiting to happen. I'd just sell a few of them to get some money and buy a single big SSD.

You even have 2 pci-e x4 slots so you could get a M.2 to pci-e x4 adapter card (ebay, a few dollars) and put a nvme m.2 on pci-e x4 and you have 1-2 TB of SSD at up to 3-4 GB/s

That and one or two 480 GB SSDs on plain SATA and your problem is solved.

All of this info is generally false.

 

8 port SATA controller + 4 ports on the MB is sufficient.  Software RAID is more flexible and easier to recover in addition to not needing fancy hardware.  A larger array that is properly configured will have more hot spares and can withstand more drive failures as well.

 

Larger SSDs use denser flash memory with more states per cell, raising the cell error rate.

 

The network connection is the bottleneck, not the SATA interface.  Swapping to M.2 gains you nothing.

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All SSDs use MLC, TLC or QLC

 

Unless you pay more, you'll get TLC (3 bits per cell) regardless the actual size of the SSD.

If you go cheap AND high capacity you get QLC (ex samsung QVO, intel 660p etc)

If you want MLC, you can still find them (ex ADATA SU900 , Samsung 860 Pro etc)

 

The corners are cut in the SSD controller - how many channels it has, if it has DRAM cache or not etc

The more expensive drives may have controllers with 8 channels and ram and higher iops, the cheaper ones will have only 4 channels.. etc

 

With MLC, it used to be true  that lower capacity drives had lower endurance than higher capacity drives. For example, a 120 GB SSD had 80 TB endurance, while a 240 GB SSD had 200TB+ endurance...

I checked now various series of TLC series and I have to admit I can't find any where the endurance doesn't just double with the capacity, i.e isn't proportional.

 

So yeah,I guess I was partially incorrect.

 

However, I still believe it's better to just go with one or two bigger drives instead of complicating your life with software raid, buying an additional 8 port controller, dealing with 8+ SSDs etc etc.

As you got those drives for free, it doesn't cost you anything to sell 2-3 of those at a small loss and buy a bigger capacity drive.

 

That server has 2 pci-e x4 slots, which are probably unused. You can buy M.2 to pci-e adapter cards for a few dollars, here's just one example.

You could even get a QLC SSD, for example a 1TB 660p drive... they'll be fast up to 3GB/s or so, and they're also fast as long as the write cache holds up, for up to around 100+ GB if the drive is not close to full. 

If you're worried about write and endurance, you could configure the games to use that ssd mostly as read only media (to read game maps etc) - configure games to write logs, temporary files etc to your SATA SSDs. 

 

You could also do backups ex every n hours, ex have the minecraft server dump a state or whatever is called and copy that automatically to one of the smaller SSDs... once a day have a script run and compress all the backups from one day into a single zip... delete stuff older than 30 days with another script.

 

No need to worry about software raid, or what if sata controller dies etc

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Dang that is a great idea. I may go that route mariushm. There is a 660p on sale right now too. Thank you everyone for your input! Guess I will start trying to offload some of these drives.

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