For the storage, since the current controller is SAS6(I believe it is SAS6)/SATA3, there isn’t a clear answer as to what to do storage wise. While I’d prefer something like the Intel DC S3500, if we’re looking for fast performance, a PCIe based solution will be cheaper than buying a new raid controller that supports SATA6. If we’re not looking for absolutely the best performance, depending on how much space we think we need, maybe 3x the 100GB Intel 710 drives would do (newegg flash has the on sale as well).

The unfortunate thing with PCIe solutions right now is the good ones (the intel DC P3700) are large (1TB or so in storage), and expensive (they start at $2K). A possible lower cost solution would be to use the Samsung xp941 in a m.2 to PCIe adaptor. At most we could run two of these (using both 8x PCIe2.0 ports we have available). There is also the fact that I’m not sure how well ESXi handles PCIe storage (I’m picking up a m.2 card and PCIe adaptor for testing on various systems, but won’t be able to test/play until the end of the month).

We have a couple Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSDs in house for stress testing! Assuming they pass muster, and by all accounts they should, we’ll be getting some more for use on our primary web server virtual machine.

So far things are looking good, the drives are FAST and there have been no issues with them. 🙂

NOTE: A special thanks to Kevin Knasel for the funds to purchase these nice SSDs!

A big ‘thank you’ to Kevin Knasel! Kevin kindly donated funds for new SSD drives that will be used for upgrading our virtual machine datastores. We already use SSDs for our MySQL database servers but with this kind new donation we will eventually be able to run EVERYTHING off of SSDs. Woot! 🙂

As any of your at home using SSD drives already know, it makes a huge difference in responsiveness. I am very excited to be able to bring faster speeds to all of our bloggers and I greatly appreciate Kevin’s donation.

Kevin runs a supermarket supply chain as well as the Branson’s Nantucket resort. While I am doing doing some technical consulting work for Kevin, this donation is a no strings attached perk for all users (no ads, no spam, no nothing). That has been my experience with Kevin: he is a businessman but he’s also a cool guy that likes to help out causes he believes in.

Hopefully we can get Kevin to start a blog here at so he can experience first hand the real-world benefits of his donation! So thank you again for your kind donation Kevin 🙂

-JD, the founder of

UPDATE: Kevin Knasel has been added to the hall of fame 🙂

We’re very excited to have a nice new (to us) 1U server headed out way:

Still deciding whether this machine will become our primary DB server, or serve as a higher-end VM server for us. Either way, in addition to this one, we have one more server in our near future and hopefully we’ll be set for a while after that :-).

Processor: Two (2) Intel® Xeon® Quad Core Processor X5460 3.16GHz Harpertown 12M cache 1333MHz FSB

X5460 single CPU benchmarks (so the new server should be roughly twice as fast as these benchmarks…)

RAM: 8GB [Four (4) 2048mb D558CDual In-Line Memory Module, 2G, 667M, 256X72, 8, 240, 2RX8
(to be upgraded to 24GB total)

Power Supply: Two (2) P424D Power Supply, 670W, PMBUS Delta

Storage: 15K SAS drive for OS, SSD for data

Remote access: DRAC5 card (Dell Remote Access Card) installed

Ethernet: Gigabit ethernet network ports

The best part: this machine should provide some great additional speed and capability for all our bloggers :-).