18 Responses

  1. G
    G at |

    Splendid read.

    The issue with the Synology devices is that you need dual SSD’s to take advantage with your “The Hybrid and Server-Side Cache Approach”, which means you really need a 1813+ or bigger, which works out very expensive.

    An excellent read though, thanks for taking your time to write this up.

    G

    Reply
  2. Jason
    Jason at |

    Don’t forget about nutanix. The winner of vmworld 2013. Seems like it gives both of your software solutions a run for the money.

    Reply
  3. Chris Conlan
    Chris Conlan at |

    I’m contemplating doing the Hybrid approach. I have a DS1812+ (I want the DS1813+). I might just yank the 1TB RAID0 array out and replace with 128GB SSD’s. Then look at putting the same in each host (128GB in each).

    I still need to read up more on vFlash because from things I read there are caveats if there isn’t enough space left on the SSDs on the host when you vMotion and what not.

    Reply
  4. Paul Braren
    Paul Braren at |

    Fantastic work Chris, thank you for a great read. Been hooked on SSDs, and using LSI 9265-8i for SSD caching of reads and writes to my RAID5 since January, but getting that middle tier of storage performing like I wanted was admittedly a multi-year struggle:
    http://TinkerTry.com/?s=lsi+9265+ssd+read+write+cache

    Reply
  5. darkfader
    darkfader at |

    My current host uses a two-SSD raid0 as a fronting write-around cache infront of a 4-disk raid10 make up of 4 green drives. Small IO performance has been nice ever since I added this “read cache”
    I feel unhappy to move the IO layer into a VM both in terms of data consistency (it could crash and do bad things) and performance (more roundtrips for the IO)

    My next route will – probably – be to venture into using EnhanceIO instead of the more mature, yet older, Flashcache.
    If it weren’t just a lab I’d go straight for a better HBA, better SSDs(*) and CacheCade2.0 instead of any virtual appliance or block-layer caching solution.
    Probably it’s time to spin up another, VMWare based, lab to check out what’s in store.

    (*) I use Samsungs, almost guaranteed to lose cache data on power loss.

    Reply
    1. Chris Conlan
      Chris Conlan at |

      So you are using the Flash Cache in 5.5 on your hosts? My 2 Kingston 240GB should be arriving shortly. I haven’t decided if I want to put those in the hosts and utilize Flash Cache, or put them in RAID0 in my Synology and do the caching on there.

      Reply
      1. darkfader
        darkfader at |

        No 5.5 😉
        Running Alpine Linux w/ Xen4.3 on my home box.
        If the synology can handle it cpu-wise you could put them in there. Network will be a little bottleneck, but I like the idea of a more central cache.

        If you wanna cache (Linux) Host side:
        Carlo Daffara from Cloud Weavers told me they use EnhanceIO now since it can be plugged/removed on the fly. It can even cover NFS.
        Sounds really good.

      2. Chris Conlan
        Chris Conlan at |

        The Synology’s CPU barely gets touched to be honest. It has a dual core 2.13Ghz Intel CPU with 3GB DDR3.

        I’m awaiting to see if I can get the NFR for the PernixFVP.

      3. darkfader
        darkfader at |

        Central caching is really nice with NFS, and wow, if you get the PernixFVP that will also be quite fun, yes 🙂

      4. Chris Conlan
        Chris Conlan at |

        Yeah I just need to move the VM’s off the RAID0 array I have them on (2 Samsung Spinpoint 1TB’s) and back onto the RAID10 (WD RED 3TBx6). Hopefully I can toss the Kingston HyperX 240GB in today. I like Samsung 840 Pro’s, but these were $50 cheaper, plus got great reviews.

        I don’t see needing that much of a cache on the host side so I might look into 120-128GB for those.

        Too bad my wife doesn’t see that I’m spending my hard earned money wisely.

      5. darkfader
        darkfader at |

        It’s a lot wiser than what other men might spend it on, err – no don’t say that 🙂

        Anyway, i think the HyperX are also not as cache-unprotected from power failures.

        Will be fun, and yeah, you only need very little actual cache. Cutting off 50%+ for wear leveling is just fine.

  6. Welcome to vSphere-land! » Home Lab Links

    […] Network) My Lab (Wahl Network) Designing A Home Lab? Here’s My Three Favorite Tips (Wahl Network) Three Example Home Lab Storage Designs using SSDs and Spinning Disk (Wahl Network) New Super Quiet Supermicro X8SIL VMWare ESXi Server […]

  7. vnelsontx
    vnelsontx at |

    Great post! Ended up going with Scenario #1:
    Synology DS3612xs
    Storage Group 1: (4) Intel 520 Series 240GB SSD
    Storage Group 2: (8) Seagate Constellation ES 4TB

    Reason: 2 Host environment which means VSAN was out and Pernix hasn’t responded yet on NFR keys for FVP, also it’s kinda hard to fit 3.5″ drives into 2.5″ bays 🙂

    Yes the initial investment in the Synology was tough but after weighing different storage scenarios, traditional made the most sense for our use case.

    Reply
  8. Chris Conlan
    Chris Conlan at |

    Just tossed in the two Kingston 240GB’s and keeps telling me I can only use 125GB of Cache. The DS1812+ I have has 3GB of RAM. Trying to remember where I read about the algorithm that let’s you know the max.

    Looks like I’ll be tossing in 2 Samsung 830 120GB’s and then finding a place to repurpose the 240GB because I’m not sure if I’d see a huge benefit in doing SSD caching on the hosts themselves (since I’m running Enterprise Plus).

    Reply
    1. Chris Conlan
      Chris Conlan at |

      Might look at the DS3612xs since that can handle up to 8GB and toss the 1812+ at my parents for off-site backup. Baby on the way is making this a difficult decision.

      Reply
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