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Old 14th June 2017, 12:21 AM
ToddAndMargo Offline
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linuxfirefox
I need a doublecheck on a server design

Hi All,

I am designing a small business Fedora 25 (or 26, if it comes out) server for a customer with five Windows clients. It will be running a Point of Sale client / server app/database running Java. The same app is running under CentOS 5 at the moment.

I am not using EL Linux, as I have absolutely had it with EL's out-of-date philosophy. The server must work properly with current releases of databases and software.

What I am concerned about is my use of SATA SSD drives in an RSTe (enterprise, not regular) RAID 1 configurations with a hot spare. I am deliberately choosing Enterprise drives meant for intense reads and writes (as recommended by Samsung tech support).

The motherboard I am calling out is a Supermicro X11SAE-M with an Intel C236 chipset:
http://www.supermicro.com/products/m...2/x11sae-m.cfm

The SSD drives I am calling out are Samsung SSD MZ-7KM960NE SM863a 960GB SATA Internal SSD:
http://www.samsung.com/us/business/c...es/MZ-7KM960NE

You guys see any issues with this?

Many thanks,
-T
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  #2  
Old 14th June 2017, 03:20 PM
Kobuck Offline
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Re: I need a doublecheck on a server design

I'll volunteer my 'opinion' that SSDs in a production server are best applied where there is a 'write once read many' application profile. This opinion is based on the way SSDs manage write activity and the fact that there is an upper limit on writes over the life of the drive. The use of a SATA interface takes a huge bite out of the performance advantages available from SSD drives over spinning drives.

I haven't looked at this in a while and the write limits are continuously improving. So things may very well have now reached a point where this is now a moot issue. However, 24/7 production environments can easily reach very high total activity numbers in 12 mos or so.

So...... my conservative nature would still select spinning enterprise drives in the application you describe.
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  #3  
Old 14th June 2017, 10:43 PM
ToddAndMargo Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: I need a doublecheck on a server design

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobuck View Post
I'll volunteer my 'opinion' that SSDs in a production server are best applied where there is a 'write once read many' application profile. This opinion is based on the way SSDs manage write activity and the fact that there is an upper limit on writes over the life of the drive. The use of a SATA interface takes a huge bite out of the performance advantages available from SSD drives over spinning drives.

I haven't looked at this in a while and the write limits are continuously improving. So things may very well have now reached a point where this is now a moot issue. However, 24/7 production environments can easily reach very high total activity numbers in 12 mos or so.

So...... my conservative nature would still select spinning enterprise drives in the application you describe.
Samsung's tech support said this unit is meant for data center usage with a lot of writes. From their spec page, it stated:
Quote:
The SM863a is optimized for server and data center environments by offering reinforced endurance, enterprise-grade power-loss protection thanks to tantalum capacitors, low power consumption and a 5-year limited warranty.
And this server will get only slightly more usage than a workstations, maybe less.

And I see your point, this could go sideways. Thank you!
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  #4  
Old 14th June 2017, 11:45 PM
dd_wizard's Avatar
dd_wizard Offline
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Re: I need a doublecheck on a server design

This Intel Product Specification gives some useful information. Ten drive writes per day for five years means you can write 12 TB, not GB, per day and expect it to last for five years. That's around 140MB/s continuous for five years. You might do that recording video, but it's hard to imagine a DB application writing that much data. Hitachi makes enterprise grade SSDs with similar endurance that are 12Gb/s SAS. They have twice the sequential read/write rates, and are rated at 1.1GB/s read and close to 1GB/s write rates. Intel's P3710 family has the same endurance, but an NVMe interface that's rated around 2GB/s for sequential transfers.

I install 3-5GB VMs fairly frequently on my 1 year, 4 month old consumer grade Crucial MX200 SSD, and it's still used less than 1% of it's write endurance. It's getting close, I think, because it's probably rated around 1000 block erases, and it's up to 9 at this point in it's life.
Code:
$ sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda
173 Ave_Block-Erase_Count   0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       9
202 Percent_Lifetime_Used   0x0030   100   100   001    Old_age   Offline      -       0
It's endurance figure is 160TB compared to 8.3PB for a similar sized Intel enterprise drive. An enterprise drive in my use case would be coming up on 0.0002% of it's expected write endurance.

dd_wizard

Last edited by dd_wizard; 15th June 2017 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 17th June 2017, 01:42 AM
ToddAndMargo Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: I need a doublecheck on a server design

I am having the devil's own time with Intel SSD's and reliability (what a nightmare) and have stopped selling them. I have switched to Samsung.

This server will have 32 GB of memory. Most of the stuff they use will be cached up. So, I am looking at less hd usage than a workstation. But when the hd's are read, they have to be very quick.
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Old 17th June 2017, 11:19 AM
antikythera Offline
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Re: I need a doublecheck on a server design

Interesting, Intel and Micron are in a joint venture to produce NAND chips and controllers so the reliability issues would most likely affect Micron's Crucial branded SSD products as well. Any particular Intel range or form factor that has proven unreliable for you? Are they worse with any particular SATA controller?

I haven't sold any Intel SSD but do use the Micron Crucial brand as well as Samsung. Micron are producing NAND chips in partnership with Intel so what affects Intel may also affect Crucial SSD devices. So far none have been reported as failing though. I wonder if Crucial use slightly different controllers and firmware in their devices.
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Old 19th June 2017, 05:34 AM
ToddAndMargo Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: I need a doublecheck on a server design

Quote:
Originally Posted by antikythera View Post
Interesting, Intel and Micron are in a joint venture to produce NAND chips and controllers so the reliability issues would most likely affect Micron's Crucial branded SSD products as well. Any particular Intel range or form factor that has proven unreliable for you? Are they worse with any particular SATA controller?

I haven't sold any Intel SSD but do use the Micron Crucial brand as well as Samsung. Micron are producing NAND chips in partnership with Intel so what affects Intel may also affect Crucial SSD devices. So far none have been reported as failing though. I wonder if Crucial use slightly different controllers and firmware in their devices.
Stay away from Intel SSD drives. I got my fingers burnt too many times.

Chipsets used were Intel C236 and Intel Q170. Bummer drivers where:

SSDPEKKW010T7X1 1TB PCI express 3.0x4:
Windows 10, Screen three times a day (Q170)

SSDSC2BW240A401, 240 GB 2.5" Internal Solid State Drive:
Windows 10: Catastrophic failure (C236)
Windows 7: unable to read drive with out data errors (fortunately Clonezilla works in block mode) (C236)

SSDSC2KW480H6X1 SSD Pro 540s 480GB 2.5inch SATA:
Windows 7: unable to stay in sync with Raid 1 for more than two months (C236)
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Old 19th June 2017, 08:20 AM
antikythera Offline
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Re: I need a doublecheck on a server design

thanks for that informative reply. My MX300 doesn't actually share any common components then. I did a little digging and it seems Intel went with Hynix chips for the 540 Pro because the IMFT weren't ready with the 3D NAND used in the Crucial MX300 in time.
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  #9  
Old 20th June 2017, 07:07 PM
ToddAndMargo Offline
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linuxfirefox
Re: I need a doublecheck on a server design

Quote:
Originally Posted by antikythera View Post
thanks for that informative reply. My MX300 doesn't actually share any common components then. I did a little digging and it seems Intel went with Hynix chips for the 540 Pro because the IMFT weren't ready with the 3D NAND used in the Crucial MX300 in time.
You are welcome.

It seems that Intel has a lot of quality issues with both their firmware and their hardware. Don't stick your hand in that fire. Been there, done that, don't ever want to do that again.

Great feedback on the 540 pro. Explains a lot.
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