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What SSDs can I use in my Supermicro server?

kingd18

Neophyte
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
4
I have a Supermicro Server (4U 36 Bay 2x Xeon E5-2670 V2 10 Core 128GB RAM). More details about the server can be found here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/UXS-Server...-128GB-RAM-FreeNAS-11-ZFS-Docker/132780317447

I am currently using HDDs, but I am wondering what type of SSD hard drives I can use in this server? The caddies are 3.5". Can I use just about any SSD's, or only ones of a particular size or type? Can I use NVMe SSDs?

Thanks so much for any assistance on this!
 

jgreco

Resident Grinch
Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
12,904
The drive bays will be fine with SATA SSD's but you may need to either order a 2.5-in-3.5 tray (from Supermicro), or buy a converter (make sure it has the SATA connector in the same place as a 3.5) like IcyDock MB882SP-1S-2B. You can also get M.2-to-2.5 adapters if you want to use M.2 SATA devices (future-proofing).

You cannot use 2.5" NVMe SSD's in the bays. However, you can add in the Addonics card

https://www.ixsystems.com/community...donics-ad3m2spx4-m-2-to-pcie-converter.39735/

which will give you an NVMe M.2 connection, and will also power two SATA M.2 SSD's (which you still have to attach to a controller).

Generally it's advisable to stick to the brand name SSD's. Samsung 860 EVO, WD Blue SN500, Crucial MX500, I've used all of these heavily (not necessarily in FreeNAS). For NVMe you can get amazing stuff like the WD Black SN750's.
 

kingd18

Neophyte
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
4
The drive bays will be fine with SATA SSD's but you may need to either order a 2.5-in-3.5 tray (from Supermicro), or buy a converter (make sure it has the SATA connector in the same place as a 3.5) like IcyDock MB882SP-1S-2B. You can also get M.2-to-2.5 adapters if you want to use M.2 SATA devices (future-proofing).

You cannot use 2.5" NVMe SSD's in the bays. However, you can add in the Addonics card

https://www.ixsystems.com/community...donics-ad3m2spx4-m-2-to-pcie-converter.39735/

which will give you an NVMe M.2 connection, and will also power two SATA M.2 SSD's (which you still have to attach to a controller).

Generally it's advisable to stick to the brand name SSD's. Samsung 860 EVO, WD Blue SN500, Crucial MX500, I've used all of these heavily (not necessarily in FreeNAS). For NVMe you can get amazing stuff like the WD Black SN750's.
Thank you so much for your super informative and helpful reply.

Do you know where this Addonics card can be purchased? When I look online, it seems that it is out of stock on all websites.
 

jgreco

Resident Grinch
Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
12,904
It looks like it could be on its way out, it's been around for 5 years after all.

http://www.harddrivesplus.com/product/16054451/

showed "in stock". Didn't look much beyond that. Far from the only option though - it just happened to have a curious mix of features that I found helpful when reworking Dell R510's.

It's pretty easy to find PCIe-to-NVMe expansion cards so I won't go into that. However, I'm also big into the Startech 35524M2NGFF which is really cool as you can retrofit it into the Supermicro 2U's.

https://extranet.www.sol.net/files/freenas/cool-hardware/upper-deck-storage.png

Stupid forumware still won't let me insert pictures. So anyways, in a converged Supermicro hypervisor, that bottom card is a 9211-8i that drives the front bays (along with the storage controller), then two Intel X520-SR2's for 4x10Gbps, then two of the aforementioned Addonics cards each with a 1TB MX500 and 1TB WD Blue SATA in RAID1 and a 500MB WD SN750 NVMe on the back. However, there's always this massive empty area in the back of the PCIe card cage back by the fan bulkhead, so I added one of the Startech units and four more M.2 SATA SSD's. All of the SATA SSD's are wired to that AOC-S2208L-H8iR in the top slot.

Of course, this isn't exactly what you want for a bare metal FreeNAS box, but it was a really cool way to optimize space in a 2U chassis, where people typically complain that there's no expansion space.
 

danb35

Wizened Sage
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
11,517
Stupid forumware still won't let me insert pictures.
You can't just copy/paste images into your post?
1581769881694.png

Still working for me.
 

jgreco

Resident Grinch
Moderator
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
12,904
I can't insert a picture by URL, which is typically what I need to do because my desktop doesn't have Internet access, and I post using a VM outside the engineering network. It's a matter of how much work I'm willing to do to post a picture, I really don't want to have to import a picture, do editing, save it off to filestore, then go and mess around to get it over to the browsing VM, then upload it to the forum and include it in the post.

I tend to talk about the same things again and again so I find it super-convenient just to be able to save the images directly to our extranet and then post the images by URL when I want to talk about them. That way, I don't need to see if I can figure out how to find an image I posted in the forums five years ago and can't remember where the relevant thread got to.
 

kingd18

Neophyte
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
4
It looks like it could be on its way out, it's been around for 5 years after all.

http://www.harddrivesplus.com/product/16054451/

showed "in stock". Didn't look much beyond that. Far from the only option though - it just happened to have a curious mix of features that I found helpful when reworking Dell R510's.

It's pretty easy to find PCIe-to-NVMe expansion cards so I won't go into that. However, I'm also big into the Startech 35524M2NGFF which is really cool as you can retrofit it into the Supermicro 2U's.

https://extranet.www.sol.net/files/freenas/cool-hardware/upper-deck-storage.png

Stupid forumware still won't let me insert pictures. So anyways, in a converged Supermicro hypervisor, that bottom card is a 9211-8i that drives the front bays (along with the storage controller), then two Intel X520-SR2's for 4x10Gbps, then two of the aforementioned Addonics cards each with a 1TB MX500 and 1TB WD Blue SATA in RAID1 and a 500MB WD SN750 NVMe on the back. However, there's always this massive empty area in the back of the PCIe card cage back by the fan bulkhead, so I added one of the Startech units and four more M.2 SATA SSD's. All of the SATA SSD's are wired to that AOC-S2208L-H8iR in the top slot.

Of course, this isn't exactly what you want for a bare metal FreeNAS box, but it was a really cool way to optimize space in a 2U chassis, where people typically complain that there's no expansion space.
Hey jgreco!

Awesome! Really appreciating you pointing me in the right direction!

I see I have several empty PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots available in my server. After doing some research I think I'm going to go with this adapter (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GFDVXVJ?th=1) and this NVMe card (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07M7Q21N7). These products were featured in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSEkTGzzzk0). Do you see any issues with using these in my Supermicro server?

Also, I'm using this new drive for a resource intensive project that I'm working on where I am collecting data from almost 3 billion URLs and inserting them into my Elasticsearch database. To pull in this data, the process is currently taking 210 days, but this is when writing to my HDDs (SATA & SAS) -- I haven't tested yet with SSD or SSD NVMe. The data I'm collecting will add up to about 50 TB of disk space, so I'm forced to use these slower drives instead of SSDs (hope to upgrade to SSDs in the future once I start generating income from the project). So my hope is that I can buy this one NVMe drive to write to disk even faster, and then programmatically transfer data (once or twice daily) in bulk from the NVMe drive to my standard HDD's, once my script has parsed out the needed data and saved it to a temporary database.

So in terms of using FREENAS, do you know if it's possible to have this NVMe drive outside of my regular FreeNAS pool that I am using for my standard HDDs?

Thank you again for all your help!
 

kingd18

Neophyte
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
4
It looks like it could be on its way out, it's been around for 5 years after all.

http://www.harddrivesplus.com/product/16054451/

showed "in stock". Didn't look much beyond that. Far from the only option though - it just happened to have a curious mix of features that I found helpful when reworking Dell R510's.

It's pretty easy to find PCIe-to-NVMe expansion cards so I won't go into that. However, I'm also big into the Startech 35524M2NGFF which is really cool as you can retrofit it into the Supermicro 2U's.

https://extranet.www.sol.net/files/freenas/cool-hardware/upper-deck-storage.png

Stupid forumware still won't let me insert pictures. So anyways, in a converged Supermicro hypervisor, that bottom card is a 9211-8i that drives the front bays (along with the storage controller), then two Intel X520-SR2's for 4x10Gbps, then two of the aforementioned Addonics cards each with a 1TB MX500 and 1TB WD Blue SATA in RAID1 and a 500MB WD SN750 NVMe on the back. However, there's always this massive empty area in the back of the PCIe card cage back by the fan bulkhead, so I added one of the Startech units and four more M.2 SATA SSD's. All of the SATA SSD's are wired to that AOC-S2208L-H8iR in the top slot.

Of course, this isn't exactly what you want for a bare metal FreeNAS box, but it was a really cool way to optimize space in a 2U chassis, where people typically complain that there's no expansion space.
I'm also being told that this adapter would work -- would you agree?

Thank you!
 
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