I have recently purchased a used PowerEdge 2900 II with the following configuration:
Dual Xeon Quad Core 2.33GHz processors, 24GB Ram (12x2GB modules), PERC 5I Raid Controller, Dual Power Supplies, etc.
I would like to repurpose this server for my home office mainly because of its scalability and reliability. My applications are not CPU intensive. I hope the system is compatible with Solaris and Oracle VM VirtualBox. Main purpose is for it to be a workstation on multiple OS for training purposes and also to be used as a NAS.
The plan is to add two ToughArmor MB994SP-4SB-1 4x2.5" SATA HDD Hot Swap Mobile Racks to utilize the two idle 5.25" device bays. Ideally, these would host 8xSSD drives for startup and main applications. I plan to use Raid 0 with all 8x512GB ADATA 2.5" and all 8 2TB WD RED 3.5" SATA HDDs. The hard drives are all rated beyond 1,000,000 MTBF. I plan to add a second RAID card (this is going to be a PERC 6i Raid controller) to connect the 2.5" drives. This card is placed instead of the PERC 5i to allow startups and the PERC 5I card will be moved to one of the other PCIe slots to connect to the 8 2TB WD RED 3.5" SATA HDDs, supporting NAS.
These are the questions I will much appreciate your opinion on them:
a) Please let me know if this is a "bad" idea, I am not very savvy with hardware
b) Is PERC 6i the best option I have on this configuration and what does it have to offer (i.e. data transfer rate) when compared to PERC 5i
c) Is it possible to utilize WD 2TD RED 3.5" NAS drives without interposer and without problems on this configuration.
d) Is it possible to utilize ADATA SX900 or SP920 drives in the 2.5" racks connected to the PERC6I as startup RAID 0 drive arrays (x2).