Which of these SSD's is best for pfSense?



  • Hey guys,

    So I recently finished building my very first pfSense box! I am so impressed with it so far, I am in love.

    Currently it's running on an old Hitachi 320GB SATAII 7200RPM HDD. I have setup squid for caching and intend to setup a few other things on the router as so far specs are proving to be overkill on everything except the hard drive. The current hard drive also vibrates at an incredibly annoying frequency that's sending a slight vibration through my desk which is irritating me.

    So my options are:
    1. Stick with it and endure the agony.
    2. Swap in a spare 750GB 2.5inch laptop HDD I have recently taken out of a laptop which was replaced by an SSD. The drive isn't very old and I believe it is a samsung drive. Did me proud, but wanted SSD speeds like on my main PC.
    3. Purchase a new small'ish SSD for the router specifically.

    I am not putting up with the annoying drive so thats option 1 gone, option 2 I would prefer not to as I'd rather keep the HDD and possibly turn it into a backup drive for the laptop and I would still then have a mechanical drive all be it a quieter one in the router, and it'd still not be anywhere near as quick as an SSD so I think that leaves option 3 as the favourite.

    SSD's are cheap as chips now for 120GB capacity so I selected 4 of my favourites:
    1. Kingston ssdNow SV300S37A/V300 120GB UltraSlim 7mm SATA 3
    2. SanDisk 128GB Z400s 2.5" Business Class SSD/Solid State Drive
    3. 2.5 inch Force LS v2 120GB SATA SSD Corsair Solid State Drive
    4. Samsung 2.5 Inch SATA3 850 EVO 120GB SSD/Solid State Drive

    So my reasons for choosing these:
    The Kingston SSD has good Random 4k IOPS at 85k read and 55k write which I thought might be a very useful thing when caching files on the SSD. It is also quite cheap and has decent read and write speeds too. I'm unsure about reliability but Kingston is generally reliable.

    The SanDisk drive is appealing due to its reliability, claiming 1,750,000 Hours MTBF and being aimed at heavy loads with an endurance rating of 72TBW (Terabytes Written). SanDisk claims its perfect for high volume transactions and thus good for point of sale, ATM's etc. The Random 4k IOPS not so good though but still not terrible at 35.5k Read and 43.3k write. This drive definitely aims to be more better for endurance but still decent speeds.

    The Corsair SSD is attractive due to its max read and write speeds and genereally I am a bit of a corsair fanboy, but it is the most expensive drive and yet its random 4k read and writes are the lowest of all drives and its not known for endurance so this may not be a good option but i included it due to its max read and writes being higher than the previous 2 drives.

    The final drive is the Samsung 850 EVO which is definitely the most expensive drive but as far as speeds go it is also definitely the best but I'm wondering if these speeds will actually be noticeable in comparison to the other drives. Reliability is supposedly good and it's backed by a 5 year warranty. The only downside I can see is the price which is considerably more than all the other drives for possibly a very little visible increase in performance.

    Any input on the options here would be greatly appreciated! My main aims for this are to have a very reliable and durable drive with quick speeds for caching with squid. Price is also a slight concern too, the cheaper the better obviously!

    Thank you in advance,

    Cheers,
    Joe



  • I do lots of ebay shopping and I am using a bunch of Sandisk's myself. Mostly U100 and X110. I mostly use the small 1.8" form factor drives as I am using embedded boxes.. I like the Apacers and Innodisk drives too. I use mainly 16GB drives. I don't run many packages.

    Truthfully disk speed adds nothing to pfSense except faster load times and pfSense should run for months at a time without rebooting, I don't see load time being a a factor.


  • Banned

    For the record:

    https://forum.pfsense.org/index.php?topic=97554.msg582821#msg582821

    …take care if you want to try Samsung EVO 850.... Maybe you have more luck than I did.



  • I have seen problems with Samsung 850. The 840's I have in service are at least 3 years old and not a problem.
    I would strike Corsair and Kingston from your list and consider Intel SSD's. Not the cheapest but solid performers.



  • You barely need any space for most uses of pfsense, the iops really don't matter as long as handily outperforms your network (which literally all but the absolute crap ones will) so the "best" ssd for endurance is an SLC drive; also older & larger lithography flash is actually better for this because physics.

    Intel had some really nice 31x model drives in msata and 2.5" versions, probably still some unopened/unwritten ones out there for cheap.



  • I agree, having done further research the general consesus is that the Samsung 850 EVO's have issues with pfSense. Considering it was also the most expensive drive of the bunch I'll write that off.

    So based on the recommendations for an intel drive I found an Intel 535 Series 2.5" SATA SSD/Solid State Drive 120GB, this was one of the smallest I could find. It's a little on the pricey side, not far off at the point where I'd be tempted to throw a bit more at it and grab a Crucial MX200 250GB SSD since I've already got 2 of those and they work like a charm, incredibly fast with random 4k read 100k IOPS and 87k IOPs for write and max read and write smashing the intel drive too and some of the best endurance ratings on consumer SSD's, contains a ton of features and even some enterprise grade features, but you can't go wrong with Intel I guess, thoughts on the 535 series?

    Another option I did just think of which might throw a bit of a spanner in the works, what about a 500GB 2.5inch HDD? I was thinking possibly throwing a WD Black 2.5inch drive in there might be a good idea? It should be pretty snappy, it should also be quieter and less noisy than my current setup too?

    I understand that the router wont benefit massively from boot times since I wont be rebooting it often, its sat in a cupboard and is running nicely with no downtime since I deployed it. But the reason for the SSD was to make use of squid's caching and also to have a quieter setup, an SSD having no moving parts would eliminate that issue entirely. Also slightly less susceptible to warmer temps as it is sat in a cupboard though the CPU hasn't gone past 46 degrees Celsius so I'm quite happy with that, adding fans to the cabinet soon too.

    So options that now stand:
    1. Intel 535 120GB SSD
    2. Crucial MX200 250GB (only 15 pounds more and will give me much better use if I remove it from the router in the future, just something I like to consider when purchasing parts)
    3. Western Digital Black 500GB 2.5" HDD (smallest I could find but was still 10 pound cheaper than the intel drive)
    Or any other recommendations?

    Let me know your thoughts guys, cheers for the quick responses too, I am really happy to be a part of the pfSense community! I will upload some pictures of my little pfSense build soon too.

    Cheers,
    Joe



  • I worry about a physical disk spinning 24/7. Not many 2.5" hard drives are made for that duty cycle. You mentioned squid..


  • Banned



  • @Phishfry:

    I worry about a physical disk spinning 24/7. Not many 2.5" hard drives are made for that duty cycle. You mentioned squid..

    Very true, I think I'll go for an SSD then, since it's going to solve more of my issues too such as quieter operation and generally an SSD is going to be faster than a HDD.

    @2chemlud:

    2.5'', 3Gb/s SATA, 24/7

    http://www.heise.de/preisvergleich/?cat=hde7s&xf=1080_SATA+3Gb%2Fs%7E3772_2.5%7E1654_geeignet+f%FCr+Dauerbetrieb#xf_top

    Thank you for the recommendation, little difficult to read the page as you don't seem to be pointing at a specific drive and most of its in German  ???

    So anybody got any experience with a particular SSD?

    And thoughts on the 2 SSD's that haven't yet been gunned down or written off?:
    1. Intel 530 120GB SSD SATA III
    2. Crucial MX200 250GB SSD SATA III

    From what I can see the MX200 is faster, and it has the bonus of being able to join my current system and be put into a raid with my other MX200 250GB drive should I ever retire it from the router. From what I can see it has incredible endurance too. But having heard people having issues with the SAMSUNG 850 Evo, has anybody had any experience with Crucial SSD's with pfSense? If there's compatibility issues then I'm left with the Intel 530. Anybody had any luck with the Intel 530?

    Cheers,
    Joe


  • Banned

    Nope it's a list of HDDs ready for 24/7, so feel free to find a supplier for any of those listed.

    Intel is always a good option… ;-)



  • @2chemlud:

    Nope it's a list of HDDs ready for 24/7, so feel free to find a supplier for any of those listed.

    Intel is always a good option… ;-)

    Ohh I see, some of those didn't look like they were rated for 24/7 use. I see one of them is a WD Black haha. Thank you for researching it and providing me with some options though, I greatly appreciate it!

    I think I will go with an SSD though, as a HDD will still give me the issue of noise and perhaps minor vibrations which I'd prefer to eliminate.

    Intel is indeed a solid reliable choice everytime, it is the cheaper than the MX200 as well, it being smaller helps the price haha.

    Can anybody shed some light on past experiences with either the Intel 530 or the Crucial MX200? Or a different drive you've had amazing experiences with?

    Thanks,



  • If you have lots of disposable income let me suggest an Intel 730 Model SSDSC2BP240G4R5. Overkill, definitely…why get it? Because you can...

    Another interesting choice might be the Seagate 500GB SSHD (Hybrid) Model ST500LM000.



  • @cross:

    If you have lots of disposable income let me suggest an Intel 730 Model SSDSC2BP240G4R5. Overkill, definitely…why get it? Because you can...

    Another interesting choice might be the Seagate 500GB SSHD (Hybrid) Model ST500LM000.

    I most certainly do not have THAT much disposable income!

    True I did consider the Seagate SSHD's but i'd still then have a mechanic drive which I'd prefer to avoid, main criteria for this storage upgrade is:
    1. Speed
    2. Reduced Noise/Vibrations
    3. Endurance and Reliability

    So an SSD is going to tick all those points.

    But thank you for the suggestions! I wish I could an afford an intel 730  ::)

    Cheers,
    Joe



  • 4. Samsung 2.5 Inch SATA3 850 EVO 120GB SSD/Solid State Drive

    Samsung840 EVO or Pro



  • I'm using an Intel 535 120gb with TRIM enabled. No problems at all for now. It was around 70€ on Amazon



  • The SanDisk Extreme Pro line has a 10 year warranty. That is what I call standing behind your product.
    https://www.sandisk.com/home/ssd/extreme-pro-ssd



  • Just as a counterbalance. Every commercial firewall I have bought off ebay has had a physical spinning disk in it. The Shelf sized Astaro-Sophos and Lanners units use a regular Laptop Hard disk like the guy listed above. All the others I bought had 3.5" disks..



  • Just as a counterbalance. Every commercial firewall I have bought off ebay has had a physical spinning disk in it.

    For sure this might be, but if Squid will be used as a caching proxy server, a SDD will be speeding up much
    the entire caching process as I know, and there fore it could be a real win for pfSense together with Squid
    as a caching proxy. If not, it does no matter in my eyes, or perhaps if a HAVP AV scanning proxy is in usage.



  • @Phishfry:

    Just as a counterbalance. Every commercial firewall I have bought off ebay has had a physical spinning disk in it. The Shelf sized Astaro-Sophos and Lanners units use a regular Laptop Hard disk like the guy listed above. All the others I bought had 3.5" disks..

    My ASAs all have SSDs.



  • I am using this one –> Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 2.5" 60GB MKNSSDCR60GB-7
    for several months now with no issues. SWAP is enable but never used as i planed ahead with plenty of RAM. I am very happy with it!

    Cheers!



  • @BlueKobold:

    4. Samsung 2.5 Inch SATA3 850 EVO 120GB SSD/Solid State Drive

    Samsung840 EVO or Pro

    Hmm, are you using a samsung 840 EVO or Pro? They're a bit of a pain to find since they're the older generation now.

    @bluepr0:

    I'm using an Intel 535 120gb with TRIM enabled. No problems at all for now. It was around 70€ on Amazon

    I might go with that then, its the cheaper of the SSD's I mentioned and being Intel I would expect a solid reliable experience with fairly quick speeds too. Price isn't too bad for sure.

    @Phishfry:

    The SanDisk Extreme Pro line has a 10 year warranty. That is what I call standing behind your product.
    https://www.sandisk.com/home/ssd/extreme-pro-ssd

    Damn, 10 year warranty that is definitely some amount of confidence behind their product, unfortunately the price is a little steeper especially as the smallest capacity is 240GB. Good recommendation though, but based on the price I might give it a pass for the Intel 535 at this point in time. If I were going for 240GB I'd likely go for the cheaper but almost equally as fast and as reliable MX200 from crucial, unless anybody thinks its particularly bad or has compatibility issues?

    @BlueKobold:

    Just as a counterbalance. Every commercial firewall I have bought off ebay has had a physical spinning disk in it.

    For sure this might be, but if Squid will be used as a caching proxy server, a SDD will be speeding up much
    the entire caching process as I know, and there fore it could be a real win for pfSense together with Squid
    as a caching proxy. If not, it does no matter in my eyes, or perhaps if a HAVP AV scanning proxy is in usage.

    I agree, since I have setup ClamAV inside Squid Proxy and I've also got Squid Caching which also uses some disk space too as I dont have a ton of RAM so a good SSD is more preferable to a HDD. Plus a HDD won't solve my criteria of wanting minimal/zero noise and vibration. So SSD is definitely the way forward here. But which SSD is the key question haha.

    @Talos:

    I am using this one –> Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 2.5" 60GB MKNSSDCR60GB-7
    for several months now with no issues. SWAP is enable but never used as i planed ahead with plenty of RAM. I am very happy with it!

    Cheers!

    Cheers for the recommendation! Personally I dislike Mushkin, had bad experiences with other Mushkin products so I don't really trust their durability and reliability.

    So it seems it's still down to either:
    1. Intel 535 120GB SSD which is looking like the favourite due to it being Intel and another user recommending it having used it in their pfSense box. MTB of 1.2 million hours

    2. Crucial MX200 which is a good durable SSD for a reasonable price though nobody seems to have had any experience with it in pfSense, fast speeds and good all round SSD. MTBF of 1.5 million hours

    3. Or an alternative such as Frank's suggestion of an 840 Evo/Pro?

    Cheers,
    Joe

    p.s I really appreciate the ton of suggestions and support guys, I am loving to be a part of the pfSense community, thank you!



  • Hmm, are you using a samsung 840 EVO or Pro? They're a bit of a pain to find since they're the older generation now.

    Old but not bad! Have had no BIOS issue likes the Samsung850 series and no TRIM support problem
    as reported by others here in this forum. So cheap to get and very stable.



  • The Intel 535 is being used in official hardware on the pfSense store, so they should be good and reliable for sure!



  • @BlueKobold:

    Hmm, are you using a samsung 840 EVO or Pro? They're a bit of a pain to find since they're the older generation now.

    Old but not bad! Have had no BIOS issue likes the Samsung850 series and no TRIM support problem
    as reported by others here in this forum. So cheap to get and very stable.

    Oh, in that case I may well try and take a look for one and see if I can grab a good deal, I'm just conscious of the fact it's last generation's model and so finding a brand new one with a warranty etc. might be tricky!

    @bluepr0:

    The Intel 535 is being used in official hardware on the pfSense store, so they should be good and reliable for sure!

    Oh, wow how stupid of me not to look in the official hardware store of pfSense  :-[ I didn't think to check to see what storage was listed in their own products which they've spent many hours and lots of money testing reliability and compatibility with those components!

    Well the Intel is looking like the favourite currently! Since 730 is out of budget, the MX200 is too large thus more expensive and its compatibility with pfSense is unknown and the 840 evo/pro whilst apparently a solid option, especially if Frank is recommending it, it's going to be hard to find one now still with a warranty and for a decent price. The Intel 535 is looking like a winner. My whole pfSense box is going to be purely Intel components at this rate!

    Thank you though bluepr0 for spotting that, I'm slightly embarrassed I even asked if it was compatible now  :-[

    And thank you Frank as always for your very valued input, I may look around and see what prices the 840's are going for and then make the ultimate decision between the Intel 535 and the Samsung 840.

    And thank you to everybody else who took time out of their day to drop me some advice! In love with pfSense and the community at the moment.

    Cheers guys!
    Joe



  • @Joe, I don't want you to change your mind, but I've got a 850 EVO which is running just fine.

    pass0: <samsung 850="" ssd="" evo="" 120gb="" emt02b6q="">ACS-2 ATA SATA 3.x device
    pass0: 600.000MB/s transfers (SATA 3.x, UDMA6, PIO 512bytes)
    
    protocol              ATA/ATAPI-9 SATA 3.x
    device model          Samsung SSD 850 EVO 120GB
    firmware revision     EMT02B6Q
    serial number         abcd
    WWN                   1234
    cylinders             16383
    heads                 16
    sectors/track         63
    sector size           logical 512, physical 512, offset 0
    LBA supported         234441648 sectors
    LBA48 supported       234441648 sectors
    PIO supported         PIO4
    DMA supported         WDMA2 UDMA6
    media RPM             non-rotating
    
    Feature                      Support  Enabled   Value           Vendor
    read ahead                     yes      yes
    write cache                    yes      yes
    flush cache                    yes      yes
    overlap                        no
    Tagged Command Queuing (TCQ)   no       no
    Native Command Queuing (NCQ)   yes              32 tags
    NCQ Queue Management           no
    NCQ Streaming                  no
    Receive & Send FPDMA Queued    yes
    SMART                          yes      yes
    microcode download             yes      yes
    security                       yes      yes
    power management               yes      yes
    advanced power management      no       no
    automatic acoustic management  no       no
    media status notification      no       no
    power-up in Standby            no       no
    write-read-verify              yes      no      0/0x0
    unload                         no       no
    general purpose logging        yes      yes
    free-fall                      no       no
    Data Set Management (DSM/TRIM) yes
    DSM - max 512byte blocks       yes              8
    DSM - deterministic read       no
    Host Protected Area (HPA)      yes      no      234441648/234441648
    HPA - Security                 no</samsung> 
    


  • @Joe, I don't want you to change your mind, but I've got a 850 EVO which is running just fine.

    Some of the early sold Samsung850 SSDs were coming with a firmware failure and this was fixed by a new
    firmware or an upgrade, only infected from or by this might be only the Linux based TRIM support and
    other things. So it could really be that joe must only update the firmware to get rid of the problem.



  • For a small system with up to 5 users i would assume just about any SSD would be ok. Just do frequent config backups!

    If you use squid-cache with more users always go for MLC.
    cheap: Sansung EVO or any TLC-Drive (I'd go for something with at least 2Y warranty+)
    consumer grade:    Intel 510, Intel 520, Intel 535 or Samsung 8X0 Pro are a good bet.
    professional grade: Samsung SSD PM8X1, Intel DC 3500 or even 3700

    Keep in mind that IOPs and r/w Numbers for Consumer SSDs are always peak numbers and for enterprise drives mostly in steady state!

    If you want to keep your SSD alive as long as possible just don't use it all. Keep 10-20% free space (at install).
    That ensures that even consumer-grade ssds have enough breathing room. You can even leave TRIM off then.

    tl;dr: EVO (TLC) will be fine for home usage. If it's your companies Firewall go Intel 535 or DC-Grade MLC/eMLC Drives.



  • @interfasys:

    @Joe, I don't want you to change your mind, but I've got a 850 EVO which is running just fine.

    pass0: <samsung 850="" ssd="" evo="" 120gb="" emt02b6q="">ACS-2 ATA SATA 3.x device
    pass0: 600.000MB/s transfers (SATA 3.x, UDMA6, PIO 512bytes)
    
    protocol              ATA/ATAPI-9 SATA 3.x
    device model          Samsung SSD 850 EVO 120GB
    firmware revision     EMT02B6Q
    serial number         abcd
    WWN                   1234
    cylinders             16383
    heads                 16
    sectors/track         63
    sector size           logical 512, physical 512, offset 0
    LBA supported         234441648 sectors
    LBA48 supported       234441648 sectors
    PIO supported         PIO4
    DMA supported         WDMA2 UDMA6
    media RPM             non-rotating
    
    Feature                      Support  Enabled   Value           Vendor
    read ahead                     yes      yes
    write cache                    yes      yes
    flush cache                    yes      yes
    overlap                        no
    Tagged Command Queuing (TCQ)   no       no
    Native Command Queuing (NCQ)   yes              32 tags
    NCQ Queue Management           no
    NCQ Streaming                  no
    Receive & Send FPDMA Queued    yes
    SMART                          yes      yes
    microcode download             yes      yes
    security                       yes      yes
    power management               yes      yes
    advanced power management      no       no
    automatic acoustic management  no       no
    media status notification      no       no
    power-up in Standby            no       no
    write-read-verify              yes      no      0/0x0
    unload                         no       no
    general purpose logging        yes      yes
    free-fall                      no       no
    Data Set Management (DSM/TRIM) yes
    DSM - max 512byte blocks       yes              8
    DSM - deterministic read       no
    Host Protected Area (HPA)      yes      no      234441648/234441648
    HPA - Security                 no</samsung> 
    

    Thanks for throwing this option in, I appreciate it. So it seems some do work, If I had one laying around I'd go for it but since I'm going to be buying a brand new SSD, I'd rather go for one that has solid reviews with pfSense and the 850 Evo has a lot of issues reported by other users, I'm sure its a fantastic SSD and I thank you for offering it up as an option but since so many have problems I'd rather not risk it  :)

    @BlueKobold:

    @Joe, I don't want you to change your mind, but I've got a 850 EVO which is running just fine.

    Some of the early sold Samsung850 SSDs were coming with a firmware failure and this was fixed by a new
    firmware or an upgrade, only infected from or by this might be only the Linux based TRIM support and
    other things. So it could really be that joe must only update the firmware to get rid of the problem.

    Certainly sounds like an option, but as I said before, if I had one lay around and thus there was no cost in me trying it out I'd go for it, but since I'll have to risk it and buy one brand new I'd rather not. I think I'm still set on the Intel 535 since pfSense offers it up in their own pre-configured hardware. Seems like a safe and solid option, price is fairly reasonable too. Can't go wrong with Intel either!

    @Perforado:

    For a small system with up to 5 users i would assume just about any SSD would be ok. Just do frequent config backups!

    If you use squid-cache with more users always go for MLC.
    cheap: Sansung EVO or any TLC-Drive (I'd go for something with at least 2Y warranty+)
    consumer grade:    Intel 510, Intel 520, Intel 535 or Samsung 8X0 Pro are a good bet.
    professional grade: Samsung SSD PM8X1, Intel DC 3500 or even 3700

    Keep in mind that IOPs and r/w Numbers for Consumer SSDs are always peak numbers and for enterprise drives mostly in steady state!

    If you want to keep your SSD alive as long as possible just don't use it all. Keep 10-20% free space (at install).
    That ensures that even consumer-grade ssds have enough breathing room. You can even leave TRIM off then.

    tl;dr: EVO (TLC) will be find for home usage. If it's your companies Firewall go Intel 535 or DC-Grade MLC/eMLC Drives.

    Sounds like a good suggestion, I think the Intel 535 having a decent warranty (5 years) and being MLC should be a solid option. Also used by pfSense themselves in their pre-configured units. The price is also quite reasonable for a 120GB model so I think I'll go for that one since that should have more than enough space to only use 10-20% for pfSense and caching.

    It's actually for home usage at the moment but I dont want to risk it, I set out to build a solid performer that wont have any downtime or any issues at all. A bulletproof router that I can leave in my cupboard and forget about it.

    It looks like the Intel 535 wins this then!

    Thanks again everybody for your suggestions and opinions, I am really loving the pfSense community.

    Cheers,
    Joe



  • My apologies if this was already addressed, I might have missed it, but is there still a concern of SSDs wearing out too quickly? I saw the note about the official pfSense hardware using SSDs; are those using the full install or the embedded/NanoBSD install?

    I'm also looking into the option of using an SSD in my home pfSense and don't want to have a dead box in a few months due a failed drive.

    Thank you for everyone's feedback on the drive discussion, it was very helpful to read all of the replies to Joe. :)



  • If you are afraid of wearout go MLC, use TRIM/DISCARD and avoid TLC.

    Intel 535 or Samsung 850 Pro are a good bet.

    If these still "don't feel safe" go Intel DC3500 or Intel DC3700.



  • Thank you! :)



  • What about the Supermicro SATA-DOM?

    http://supermicro.com/products/nfo/SATADOM.cfm



  • Supermicro SATA-DOM?

    Also a good choice this could be seen as a replacement for the older IDE-DOMs.
    But there are two different models able to buy and use, so you might before buying have a closer
    look to your mainboard and the needs of what kind of SATA-DOM you should go with or buy.
    Supermicro SATA-DOM solutions