Question

DELL PowerEdge R740XD2 as repository but with SSD Cache

  • 23 August 2023
  • 5 comments
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Userlevel 7
Badge +12

Hi all

I often use a DELL PowerEdge R740XD2 as a Veeam Repository.

This with a bunch of SAS HDD disks in RAID-60.

Great as being a repository.

But to make the disks even faster, I want to use 2x SSD disks to configure as a write cache so the backups can be written even faster.

NICs are 10Gbit.

As a RAID controller a PERC H730P is being used.

Windows Server 2022 and REFS 64K is being used on the repo.

This is a setup often being used in combination with Veeam.

Cachecade is not possible anymore on the RAID controller.

What options are there?

Using 3rd party software to use the SSD disks as write cache.

 

What software is recommended by Veeam and are you guys familiar with?

 

Or just stay away from it because the extra performance is just limited?

 

Thx for your feedback!

 

regards

Nico


5 comments

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

Only thing I can think of is 3rd party for the SSD to use as cache.  Not sure if there is something built in to Win2022?  Did you check there too?

Userlevel 7
Badge +19

Like Chris, I’ve never heard of anything within Windows...or even Linux for that matter, that can use local SSDs solely as write cache. I’d be curious if anyone has.

Doesn’t hurt to find out for sure, but kinda to your point, would you really gain that much more performance with write cache?

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

Hi,

 

Have you looked into Storage Spaces on Windows? You’d be using a simple HBA instead of a RAID controller to achieve this. But it supports NVMe and SSD as cache tiers and can be used on standalone servers.

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

Thx @Chris.Childerhose , @coolsport00 and @MicoolPaul for your feedback! I really appreciate it.

In the meantime I know from DELL that the Broadcom RAID-controllers do not support anymore second level cache with SSD. Only built-in cache is possible to use.

Before (like with the H710P) this was still possible.

@MicoolPaul : I know that the use of Storage Spaces is an option, but something I don’t want to use in this situation. Why?

Well I once have setup Storage Spaces on a backup-server (still running fine) because the server had no RAID-controller (before they used TrueNAS on it) and I re-installed it with Windows and used Storage Spaces so there was a software-RAID.

Nothing wrong with software-RAID, I use often Synology NAS devices as repositories for smaller customers because of the lower price than a full-blown physical backup-server of HPE or DELL.

But in my opinion and experience : the performance of software-RAID can’t compete against a fine RAID-controller and I trust more the hardware RAID-controller than Storage Spaces.

Next to that I have read that there are a lot of issues to setup the RAID-controller in pass-through.

I won’t test it, but I think that a RAID60 with 22 HDD SAS Spindles in combination with a RAID-controller will be more performant than pass-through and using software Storage Spaces so the 2 SSD disks can be used as write cache.

Or am I wrong in that ???

Does someone have experience in that?

Ideally I hoped it was possible to use the SSD-disks in combination with the RAID-60 managed by the RAID-controller but apparently that is not possible anymore...

thx

Userlevel 7
Badge +6

Aside from the storage spaces suggestion, I’m not aware of anything.  At that point, I think you’re looking at a NAS or SAN to take advantage of a cache tier.

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