XServe SSD replacement?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by DogHouseDub, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. DogHouseDub macrumors regular

    DogHouseDub

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    SF
    #1
    Hey kids,

    Got the last gen XServe running Yosemite server - it's a workhorse for sure.

    Boot drive is the original Apple SSD. Are there options to replace this drive should it go south on us?

    Have a consultant suggesting we ditch the XServe because no parts are available for it - doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but if the Apple SSD were indeed irreplaceable that might change the conversation.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #2
    If it were my system, I'd be trying to figure out what we'd do if something other than a drive died. If you lose the backplane, or a connector, what then...

    I guess that's a way of saying: ditch it. IMO...
     
  3. DogHouseDub thread starter macrumors regular

    DogHouseDub

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    SF
  4. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #4
    It's not common, but you don't ever know if or when it will happen to your server.
     
  5. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #5
    Right, and if it does, it will usually happen when you can least afford the downtime.

    Given that the X-Serve was last produced, how many years ago?

    But, yeah, even if it was still in production, you run the chance that something will fail, and it will be something that takes the whole server offline. Your X-Serve could last another ten years, but then it could go tits up tonight.

    I do remember that Apple sold a 'spares kit' for the X-Serve. I *think* it came with the really important parts in it. You might want to see if it's available anywhere, just in case...

    Short story, I had a client that ran on a HUGE 4-U Dell server for nearly 6 years. Never blipped, beeped, sneezed, coughed, NOTHING. It got to the point I was afraid to have to restart it for fear that something would fail. I think the dust, and everyone's fear of it failing, that kept it alive. And yet I had a brand new HP server go tits up within a month. Ended up gutting the thing like a fish and replacing quite a lot due to a bad regulator (HP said).

    So you never know. But that Murphy guy can be a bastard when he wants to be...
     
  6. SlCKB0Y macrumors 68040

    SlCKB0Y

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #6
    I've been managing a datacenter deployment of about 1500 Dell/CentOS servers for the last 5 years. By far the most common failures you will get are storage (SSD/HD) followed by RAM. We were working on a client-leased server the other day which had been up for more than 2000 days. I really would have liked to update all the software but the distro it was running was already EOL and there was no way in hell I was brave enough to reboot a server which has been up that long. :D

    If you're going to keep a server of this age in production make absolutely sure you have spare SSDs and RAM handy. Make sure you are keeping frequent backups and make sure there is a plan in place in case something more drastic dies.

    In answer to your question, I don't see why you couldn't use any old SSD in it (and as of 10.10.4 you'll even get TRIM), but get a couple of spares if you do.
     
  7. DogHouseDub thread starter macrumors regular

    DogHouseDub

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Location:
    SF
    #7
    I'm just a biologist trying to keep a server up for my research group - is it common practice to have at least two servers up and running in parallel to protect against disaster? My rationale for powering ahead with the existing Xserve has been - the robustness of a 6 year old Xserve versus a new Mac Pro or Mac mini. Since the Xserve has redundant power supplies and redundant internal drives, it would always be a better bet than a consumer level machine. If it dies, we'd replace it with another Mac. So why EOL our Xserve prematurely? No?

    FYI we use the 2009 Xserve with a Sonnet Fusion RAID (64TB) for storage. All drives are backed up nightly. A separate clone of the boot drive is maintained.

    Being academic researchers, money is tight (hence the do-it-yourself server solution) - we prefer to spend money on patients not hardware. Of course we don't want to be stupid about it - would appreciate any advice you have (and appreciate what has been shared already). Thank you
     
  8. hobowankenobi, Aug 27, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015

    hobowankenobi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #8
    Have the same late 2009 xserve, though ours never had the Apple SSD installed. I have used two different SSDs from OWC for a single boot drive, primarily because they don't need/use TRIM, and both have been perfect.

    The first was used for 2 years, and was only replaced because it was a bit too small (am running a VM too). Before I replaced the first unit, it was over 95% full, with zero performance issues....which was a good (if risky) test of their over-provisioning in action.

    The second SSD I installed (running 24/7 for about 4 months now) was this one:

    240GB OWC SSD

    As you may be aware, at least some earlier xserves were picky about boot drives. I expect other SSDs may work fine, and be less expensive, but uptime needs and no fuss kept me from shopping.

    I do clone the boot SSD daily and weekly, but so far, rock solid. It is RAID capable, but I am not sure mirroring is worth the cost. Have seen mirrors go south before, so I am sticking with the daily clone to a HD instead.
     
  9. Merlin100, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016

    Merlin100 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 17, 2013
    #9
    Can you provide more details on installing the SSD? Where is it installed? In one of the three drive bays in a dock or in the optional Apple SSD slot? If the slot, where is it and can it be added now if it was never there?

    I have the same 2009 Dual Processor xServe from September 2009 and would like to add an SSD to boot from. I know OWC Sells the PCI based Flash drives, http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/PCIe/OWC/Mercury_Accelsior/RAID

    But is that worth the money vs just putting in a stock SSD? But again is putting in an SSD an option?
     
  10. jamall macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #10
    The three drive bays at the front of the Xserve are limited to SATA II speeds (~300MB/sec read) whereas new SSDs can hit nearly double that. If you have a free PCIe slot, an adaptor card like one of these will give you much better read and write speeds and let you use off-the-shelf SSDs that can be easily and cheaply replaced in the event of an emergency. Newer SSDs have greatly improved lifespan and reliability, so I'd personally be pre-empting any problems that may or may not be imminent in that 7-year-old SSD you've got and making the switch ASAP. Just double check that any PCIe adaptor you buy is definitely bootable in a Mac because some won't appear until after OS X has loaded its kernel extensions.
     

Share This Page