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).