Inherited HP ML350 Gen 9, looking to upgrade

I recently inherited responsibility for a ML350 Gen 9 and I’m looking to upgrade the CPU’s and storage with the best deals I can find on the used market. My goal is to run 15 - 20 Win10 vm’s with light MS office and QuickBooks use. I’d like these to feel as snappy as possible, but realize that that’s sort of hopeless when running QB.

It’s currently equiped with:

2 x Xeon E5-2620 v3
128gb ddr4 2133mhz
P440ar controller module

  • 3 x HP 1TB 2.5-inch SFF SATA 6Gb/s 7.2K RPM (MM1000GBKAL) - Raid 5
  • 1 x Samsung 2TB 860 Pro SSD - Raid 0

Any recommendations on a set of compatible CPU’s that I could snag on the used market with good value to performance? Maybe a pair of E5-2690 v3’s?

Would I be better off running raid with as many SSD’s that I can afford or buying a couple of the 3.2TB NVMe V-NAND 2.5” U.2 SSDs in the group buy for raid 0? Something else? I’d like to avoid using the mechanical drives for the VM datastores to improve performance.

Any advice is appreciated!

This is out of my wheel house so take that with a grain of salt.

I would look at the lower tdp E5-2650Lv3 ($100 per cpu roughly), that doubles your cores from existing and leaves room to spend money on ssd’s which should allow for a more performant machine. Also allows for faster ram clock…not sure what you currently have.

As for the Raid question (again not my area)…In Unraid you could get a large drive as parity and use a bunch of smaller drives and unassigned drives for vm’s/shares…in addition to assigning some for cache. That may be a way to go with this.

With another hypervisor such as Proxmox or ESXI you would probably be bit more tethered to a true Raid setup.

Those SSD’s he mentioned are U.2/NVME, chances of them fitting in that HP with the current backplane is slim. My guess is it’s just a SAS/SATA backplane and no luck for running NVME drives in there. As a general rule, it’s tough to mix and match even SAS/SATA on the same backplane.

I’d honestly leave the drives how they are and run vm’s on the 860 Pro. It seems like that’s how it was probably configured for before. Run the VM’s on the 860 pro, backing them up to the (3) 1TB drive raid-5. It’ll be good for more than just a couple vm’s, somewhere around ~10. Now, if they’re being constantly hammered on, it’ll be a problem running them on one drive.

ZFS can be pretty quick even with mechanical drives if you’ve got it configured well.

Thank you for the feedback, I hadn’t considered the 2650Lv3, but I definitely will. It looks like this is the little brother than the one I was originally considering.

As for the U.2/NVME drive, I agree, this may be problematic with the HP raid controller/backplane. Instead, I was going to go with the U.2 to PCIe adapter listed on the forum thread. I liked the idea for the U.2 drive cause it’s blazing fast :slight_smile: , and it seemed like it could deal with a lot more wear than the Samsung could. The 860 Pro does indead host the VM’s and the spinning drives are on backup/iso duty.