Dell r710 with Esxi 5.0 on RAID 5 of SSDs

Posted on 2012-08-13
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
We recently purchased a dell r710.
In order to get the price point acceptable we had to purchase drives from a 3rd party.
I purchased 4 Samsung 256GB SSDs and set up in a raid 5 array.
I then installed vmware esxi 5.0 on a flash drive and created a datastore on the Raid 5 array of SSDs.
I migrated all our hosts to the new server and have not had any issues.
The datastore has just over 15% free space.
I am afraid I did not do enough research as I am now seeing that there is an issue with SSDs where free space may not be cleared correctly because of the lack of a “trim” function.  The drives support it but it sounds like the controller (Perc h700) and hypervisor (esxi 5.0) do not.  Additionally the hosts that are running on it are 2 Windows server 2003 x32 and 1 x64
Should I be concerned about the SSDs failing or having issues?
Is there any special configuration or considerations I should be aware of regarding this setup?

Question by:SynsorIT
    LVL 116

    Expert Comment

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    if using RAID, I believe the TRIM commands are not passable, and only in AHCI mode, are TRIM commands sent to the SSDs.

    SSDs do fail, ensure you have good backups.

    There is no special configuration for SSDs for use as a datastore in ESXi 5.0.

    Author Comment

    So if the drives in the raid array do not accept trim commands will they fail faster?
    Does the free space in the datastore have any affect on this (i.e. should i keep it above 20% free space)?
    Does this mean that it is not a good idea to use SSDs in a raid array for esxi?
    LVL 116

    Accepted Solution

    TRIM is the garbage collection routines, that work in desktop computers, ESXi will not be aware of the garbage collection routine.

    You may find over a period of time, the drives start to slow down, and you will then need to remove, and place in a desktop PC, and use the vendors tools to "refresh the drive".

    SSDs will still fail, whether TRIM is in use or not.

    Ensure you have good valid backups.

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