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IBM x3550 Hard drive Upgrade using SSD instead of supported SAS

Hi Guys,

I have a customer that is needing to Upgrade there IBM x3550 Server with new Hard Drives.

Currently they have 74GB SAS Drives and are wanting a little bit more space, not a lot more as its only a terminal Server adn no Data lives on it, but will go higher the 74Gb of coarse in this current day specs

We are also going to install VMware ESXi on it and run the server virtualized to fit with the rest of there infrastructure.

I am looking a little biut out side the box here and thinking of maybe installing SSD drives to get more proformance rather then the supported SAS drives

As i know this is an older server and SSD will not really be supported by IBM i am wondering if anyone can advise me if they have done and succeeded with this sort of set-up.

I would think to still put 2 x SSD in Raid 1 for them

Can anyone also advise best SSD to use i am presuming some Intel Branded one but will be interested to here from you.

Thanks Adam
4 Solutions
You won't be doing anybody any favors by taking a perfectly good tested & supported system and throwing untested, unsupported hardware on it.

It is a terminal server.  You are wasting money buying SSDs for it. the only significant I/O is boot time.  If you want to spend money then maybe some more RAM will help.  But unless your queue depth is always > 1 and you are doing things with the machine in addition to being a TS, save the money.
Andrew DavisManagerCommented:
You dont say what flavour of x3550 it is. Some do support SSD (M4).
However i reasonably sure they all support SATA, So SSD shouldnt be an issue.

Price wise, as you only want a small amount of extra space, a 120Gig SSD is going to be about the same price as a 15K600 SAS drive.


Supported..... If it is out of warranty then really doesn't matter.
Less gig per $. So future growth may be an issue.

Personally i would go with the SAS Drives and get a lot more space. This allows you to utilize more for other virtual machines (testing).

But not knowing anything about the environment, i really cant say if that is of any benefit to you.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Install ESXi on SD card or USB flash drive, and use SAS drives. (more the better).

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.x on USB/SD:
If I am understanding you correctly you want to take your IBM x3550 and install SSD drives. This server use to be a TS server but you want to convert it into a ESXi server. Is this correct.

Usually people only use SSD drive for servers/application that generated alot of I/O like VDI environments.

Do you use  a central storage (SAN) solution? If so and if you are concerned about performance. You should divide up you datastores into high, med and low I/O volumes and if possible use storage i/o control to make one vm does negative impact other  VM
cdsausAuthor Commented:
Thanks everyone for you expertise on this i am going with and have order some 300GB 15k SAS drives

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