Which SSD for Virtualization.

james__bean

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Jun 19, 2004
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I'm putting a Core i7 system together for running some virtual machines for work. I'll probably be using Workstation 6.5 on either Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2. I'll be running anywhere from 2-3 VMs at a time and my biggest concern is being able to boot these virtual machines as quickly as possible. I plan on raiding at least three SSDs, but probably more like 4-5. I figure Intel has more i/o but the Indilinx have much better sequential write performance, which may come in handy if I decided to utilize a ram drive. I'm just curious if anyone has done any testing with SSDs and which SSD controller (Intel/Barefoot) would be best for virtual machine usage.
 

nitrobass24

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Well what raid card are you going to use?
Are you going to do RAID0?

What mobo do you have?
What are the size of the VMs? you may be able to fit some to RAM.

The Intels and the Vertexs are both great drives.
You should note that TRIM will not work with drives in a RAID array, so with Intel(G2 only, G1's dont support TRIM) you will have degraded performance.
Vertexs latest firmware has "GC" which is similar to TRIM, is performed at the hardware layer and does not require OS interaction.
Vertex can also utilize Wiper.exe and can be setup as a scheduled task for automation.

I would chose Vertex if it were me, but the Intels are also great drives.
 

criccio

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Yea, what size are the VM's? If you build a machine with 12 or even 24GB of RAM, a SuperSpeed RAMDrive would be VERY fast.
 

Thuleman

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Apr 13, 2004
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Just out of curiosity ...., Workstation and high performance requirements are a strange combo, not that it wouldn't work, but the question at that point is why not just use ESXi?

Let's say you have three SSDs, raiding them will not really gain you much performance at all in comparison to just dedicating one SSD per VM.
 

james__bean

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Jun 19, 2004
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Okay here are the specifics.

I'll be using ICH10R for the raid. I'm not convinced any of the raid controllers out there provide improved performance with raid 0 over ICH10R when dealing with 3-4 drives.

In terms of the number of VMs, we're talking about maybe 6-8 at about 100-120GB total. The reason I'll be using Workstation and not ESXi is because ESXi does not support Intel Matrix Storage as far as I know. If I am wrong on this please let me know. In terms of RAM, I'll be using 12GB. Here is the system I'm looking to put together.

EVGA x58 SLI Micro. (I have a $100 EVGA Cash from folding heh)
Core i7 920
12GB of ram.
3-4x SSD in raid 0. Probably 60-80GB drives.

In regards to GC, that was one of the things I was considering since I already own 4 vertex drives (1 in my laptop, 3 in my main system) that work pretty great. As far as trim is concerned, I think there is some evidence that Intel drivers in raid actually are passing trim commands.

http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=60874
 
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