Optimal storage option for 2 bay home lab hypervisor?

Hello I just bought quite overkill “pfSense appliance” barebone. Obviously I’m not gonna use it for pfSense but as KVM based hypervisor for networking related tasks in home lab. I’d like to use it as All-in-one swiss-knife network box for all kinds of stuff that can’t be done on routers.

It’s this particular box:

I bought barebone variant (nothing preinstalled) with AMI BIOS and added 32gb (2x16gb) RAM to it. But I still can’t decide what to do about storage. It has 2 storage slots - mSATA and 2.5" standard SATA. I’m not sure what would be “optimal” storage configuration for hypervisor with light network-oriented VMs.

I’m interested in hosting VPN VMs, TOR transparent proxy, Snort3, Snort2 and Suricata, maybe some Zabbix but I haven’t decided yet. Probably also RADIUS and LDAP server as well as some rsyslog + Splunk VMs and other logs monitoring tools.

For now I considered few options:

  • small crappy mSATA for OS (some 128gb eg. Kingston UV500) and 2.5" heavier duty MLC SATA like IRDM PRO or 860 PRO for VMs 500gb.
  • bigger and better TLC mSATA for OS (preferably some 860 EVO 256gb since SLC cache capability) and crappier TLC SSD for VMs like 860 EVO 500gb.
  • single hardcore 2.5" Server SATA like Samsung SM863a SSD 500gb
  • … something else?

Another question is - from stability and performance standpoint in dual SSD config - does it make more sense to put SWAP on the same drive as OS or the same drive as VMs?

What would you suggest? my budget is probably around 200$ or less for storage. I have found all 3 mentioned configs for this price: 1x SM863a, UV500 + 860 PRO combo and 2x 860 EVO (mSATA + 2.5") so it’s more about correct “balance” between mSATA and 2.5" bay now.

Side note: I believe CPU will indeed be always under quite high load but I don’t think it will be primary bottleneck here. This CPU is half decent and I have experience with KVM on laptops with mobile i7’s that hosted full-featured VMs with GUI and sit on load like 20-30%. So I think i5-7200U should handle my VMs below 80% load.