Advantages and best scenario to use the SR Smartcache on the HPE p408i-a G10 ML350 Server?

HPE Smart Array controller P408i-a G10 ML350 Proliant Server, 12 core, 4x SAS 600GB 10K HDDs in a Raid5. Would using an SSD drive for SR Smartcache on a VMWare configuration with 3 VMs benefit performance? Does this SR Smartcache work in some configuration and not others? VMs include WS16 RDS, OES Linux Server, WS16 WebServer. VMWare will be loaded onto a HPE Micro Secure 32GB Digital Card.
UtahTNAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It will benefit the performance of all VMs which are stored on the VMFS datastore

However by how much depends on the workload of the VM and what performance characteristics are required per VM

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UtahTNAuthor Commented:
After asking this question the cheapest HPE SSD for the G10 server is $1200 dollars which make it out of the price range for this server.

If I could ask another question. Would you suggest running the VMware on the HPE Micro Secure 32GB Digital Card, or do these older memory chip designs give issues or fail often.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We would recommend you use a high quality device
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UtahTNAuthor Commented:
I have in hand the HPE Enterprise Micro Secure 32GB Digital Card, but aren't all of this chips cheap or expensive based on the same memory technology or is the HPE chip similar to SSD type storage which is more stable than flash?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's certified for use with ESXi

And supported by HPE you can use any SD card or USB flash drive you like

BUT be warned only HPE SD cards support Intelligent Provisioning
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you select a non  HPE part HPE may not support you if your server has issues

Are you really going to quibble over the stability of your organisations enterprise corporate hypervisor!?

Based on a few dollars using a SD card from Walmart for .50 cents?
UtahTNAuthor Commented:
I'm sorry, that was not what I was asking. I would only use the HPE chip, but isn't the HPE chip based on the old flash nand standards developed in 1984?

Maybe a better question would have been, have you had any issues with the high quality MicroSd chips running WMware in servers? And is there a recommended replacement time of the SD chip over a period of years due to limited writes to the memory?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I'm sorry, that was not what I was asking. I would only use the HPE chip, but isn't the HPE chip based on the old flash nand standards developed in 1984?

the technology is more recent than that used by HPE... but I'm sure tech is probably the same.

Maybe a better question would have been, have you had any issues with the high quality MicroSd chips running WMware in servers? And is there a recommended replacement time of the SD chip over a period of years due to limited writes to the memory?

none, because the SD card, USB flash drive is only read at BOOT. It then goes memory resident, and there are very few writes to the media.

We did have issues with a particular brand of metal USB flash drives, which were getting too hot, and running out of spec!

they we getting to 60 degrees C!
UtahTNAuthor Commented:
I found this comments online. Would they apply to the New ML350 G10 servers and the MicroSD chip?

Using a SD card to host your VMWare install is a supported feature. ESXi gets loaded into RAM anyway when you start it, so why not do it? You'll need to repoint where logs are stored, but that's a trivial change.

The only caveat I will mention to you is the DL380G9 used to have an issue with ESXi losing a connection to the SD card interface. The server will continue to function through this, but you'll need to restart your host to clear the issue.

One warning about SD cards on the later HP servers - they're connected through the iLO, not directly through USB. If the iLO is restarted for any reason, ESXi will lose access to the SD card until the server is rebooted. It's not that huge a problem (I've had ESXi hosts run for months without access to their boot volume) but it's something to be aware of.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Correct, that's why you should use HPE cards!!!!

use other vendor cards at your own risk!

Yes, some may consider HPE to be ripping people off with this.....but hey....
UtahTNAuthor Commented:
I have not had good experiences with high end and low end flash memory but I have never had one in  a server before now. I'm okay with the high price as long as they can be trusted. One thing that made me doubt using one of these chips is the fact that some servers use dual flash chips for redundancy. Which for me is like saying, yeah they do fail enough to need to raid them. I'm assuming I should buy a backup chip and clone the original each time we make any new changes?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We've been deploying ESXi on SD and USB Flash since 2004!

with very few issues compared to installations on spinny rust!

and yes, latest servers have dual SD cards for redundancies, but not all....

very few failures on SD.

No need to purchase a replacement flash, just backup the configuration of the host, and if needed, restore configuration to the host again after changing SD card.
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