htc2010
2 Iron

RE: SSD Compatibility w/PERC S300 RAID?

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Thanks for laying that all out. I think doing a backup/restore as you've mentioned will work out best but would it be safe to assume that I could just as easily swap out each drive of the array, one at a time, with an SSD? The PERC S300 should be able to rebuild itself from what I recall. This will take more time, granted, but I feel would take the guess work out of whether or not my backup file is good to go (I've had lots of bad luck using backup files for some reason - been cloning or swapping drives where possible).

The server itself is the backbone of our financial reporting as well as PoS function for our market. It controls 4 checkout lanes and 6 deli scales as well as a variety of other miscellaneous network server functions. It was purchased some six years ago when NCR's independent retailer unit was still going strong with its current offering. Then about a year ago, Microsoft pulled the rug under NCR regarding legacy software support and NCR subsequently pulled its rug from under retailers using legacy hardware/software. We are in the position that we cannot even buy a replacement server if this one died. If we are lucky, we can rebuild the software if the hardware fails, but the hardware is pretty much on its last leg. Otherwise, we are in the position that we must upgrade the entire market, which is an expense we are not willing to take on given our uncertainty about our return on investment. But seriously, we're running Windows 2003 x86 with SQL Express 2005 ... geez.

Currently, the server runs quite well, but has had several components replaced in hopes of extending its operational life by maintaining RAID health and motherboard longevity. I was hoping to replace the HDD's with SSD's to reduce wear on the PSU since these would be lower power, and also reduce wear on the system as a whole due to temperature. The CDROM was recently removed and replaced with a 2 bay high fan. An SSD is currently connected to the onboard controller for pagefile/temp file use.

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theflash1932
6 Indium

RE: SSD Compatibility w/PERC S300 RAID?

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would it be safe to assume that I could just as easily swap out each drive of the array, one at a time, with an SSD?

You cannot mix SAS and SATA in the same array. You also cannot mix HDD and SSD. If the S300 doesn't support SSD, then it may not know the difference between a SATA SSD and a SATA HDD, so it may work, but 1) I wouldn't count on it, and 2) just know that on real RAID controllers, it can't be done.

In the end, I'm not sure if it will accomplish your goals. The reason I asked is because you may have been able to just add the SSD's as a new VD, then move database files, etc. to it to improve speed, but this all sounds like a lot of work for little return. I'd just invest in a good backup, recovery solution. Can this run in a virtual environment?

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htc2010
2 Iron

RE: SSD Compatibility w/PERC S300 RAID?

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After a lot of reading, I am leaning toward a virtualized environment. I will have to confirm this with our hardware vendor but am pretty sure it should work assuming I'm virtualizing the same system. Moving the system over will surely cause our license on the PoS software to go ... but thank you for the idea. This will be something for me to look into further!

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htc2010
2 Iron

RE: SSD Compatibility w/PERC S300 RAID?

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Old thread, but wanted to confirm our setup for future reference. Due to an OS failure, we went ahead and just upgraded all our add-on cards and HDD's. Amazingly, it works. Stability is unclear as we have not fully resolved our BSOD issues but it works, mostly. 

Dell T110 Win2K3 Standard 32 bit
PERC S300 supports OCZ Deneva 3.5" SSD in RAID 10
Win2K3 Will Work with ATI Fire Pro 2270 (ATI XP Driver)
Sound Blaster Live SB 1040 (XP Driver)
US Robotics PCIe Soft Modem (XP Driver)

The only thing we noticed that performance with SSD on this card in RAID10 is marginal at best. I think RAID10 with 4 drives already saturates the port. However, it almost feels like I can passively cool this server. It's so quiet, and absolutely vibration free!

May finally get to upgrade to 2008 or 2012 soon ... If the price is right, we'll be keeping our fingers crossed!

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theflash1932
6 Indium

RE: SSD Compatibility w/PERC S300 RAID?

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Blue-screen, poor performance ... not sure it "works" very well at all. The issues I see:

  • Running 2003
  • With XP drivers
  • Using an S300 controller
  • In a RAID 10 (S300 is horrible, but other than RAID 1 is worse)
  • Using unsupported drives (at least they are enterprise class drives, but even that doesn't guarantee compatibility)
  • Using non-validated hardware in the server
  • A modem?! Who uses a modem anymore?!

Just some friendly observations Smiley Happy The more of these you correct, the more reliable it is likely to be, and the better performance you will likely see.

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htc2010
2 Iron

RE: SSD Compatibility w/PERC S300 RAID?

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Yep, the only real way to correct this is to go to a modern OS. But for those of us who are really really stuck (and there are many of us in the local trading area), this is one way to go. Currently haggling with our local NCR dealer to see what they can do. It's funny because they refused to load Server 2008 onto our server because it was incompatible with our PoS software. The salesman was just here today telling me that the new hardware will come with 2008 or 2012 Server but still use the older PoS software. Essentially trying to force a software+hardware upgrade at the same time.

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