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  • RAID level for SBS 03

    Not sure if this is better in Hardware or not as it comes under the storage category.

    Anyway, I'm about to install an SBS 2003 server at my mum's business - 2003 rather than 2008 because my IT budget stretches about as far as a packet of crisps. I've been able to get a server and a licence with enough CALs from eBay for under £200.

    The server is an IBM X Series 225; 2.66GHz Xeon with 4GB RAM. Not the speediest box around but it should be sufficient. The server has 6 x 36GB U320 SCSI disks. I'm intending to use 2 of them as a RAID 1 for the OS and use the others for the Exchange databases. What I'm wondering is whether people would recommend a 4 disk RAID 10 or a 3 disk RAID 5 with hot spare? Either way I can lose up to 2 disks before losing data and both give me the same amount of usable space.

    I'm thinking RAID 10 would be preferable because of the performance hit I'd get from RAID 5 - is there anybody who would specifically recommend RAID 5 for some reason?

    I should add that other than SBS, the server will only have Exclaimer and NOD32 (scanner, not the console) installed. File and print is handled by a separate box.

    TIA
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

  • #2
    Re: RAID level for SBS 03

    Unless you are getting serious volumes of mail I've never seen RAID5 cause an issue to be honest. That said if this server is really hosting email only there's no benefit to what I would do if it was SBS2008, which is a 4-disk RAID5 with no hot spare for the extra storage space. With the 75gb limit that's pointless though.

    So, that being the case, probably RAID10. msexchange.org do suggest RAID1 or variants are better for the transaction logs.
    BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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    Cruachan's Blog

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    • #3
      Re: RAID level for SBS 03

      Theres a thought... separate RAID 1s for the logs and databases.

      I should point out that there are only 2 users with email and we're currently using POP3 accounts. But I thought as I'm moving her to Active Directory anyway *, it might as well be SBS to gain Exchange.

      * 1 employee, but it's a tuition centre with several computers that need to be locked down tighter than part of a duck's digestive tract.
      Gareth Howells

      BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

      Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

      Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

      "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

      "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: RAID level for SBS 03

        Personally I don't think RAID10 is called for here. SBS2003 has a user limit of 75 users and an Exchange mailstore limit of 75GB. It's doubtful you'll reach anywhere near those levels and therefore the performance benefits of implementing RAID10 and separating the logs from the datbases isn't called for. I would configure the RAID for maximum capacity as opposed to maximum performance in this case. I'm thinking a 5 drive RAID5 array with 1 hot spare for a capacity of 144GB or a 6 drive RAID5 array with a capacity of 180GB.


        Of course this is only my humble opinion.

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        • #5
          Re: RAID level for SBS 03

          3 RaiD 1's?

          One for System
          One for Exchange Database
          One for Exchange Logs

          (And personally, I would recommend a external Sata drive to get some actuly storage in there).

          This way all the important system files are protected by Raid, and each on there own independant array.

          Other then that, I would recommend raid 5 with a hot spare, as if one of the drives brake... are you really going to be able to find a replacement?

          Wofen
          Good to be back....

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          • #6
            Re: RAID level for SBS 03

            Why do we need an external SATA drive? We have sufficient storage provided by the internal SCSI disks. An external SATA disk wouldn't be protected by RAID, as the RAID controller is for SCSI disks, so you wouldn't use it for data anyway.

            Independant arrays - nice to keep the logs and databases separate, but you're not really gaining anything if they're on the same RAID controller.

            You can still get MFM disks if you look hard enough - I don't foresee SCA being a problem for the next few years at least.

            @joe: You're right in that we shouldn't ever reach the point where we're maxing out the server. But the nature of small business IT means that while we only plan to use this server for Exchange, in reality I'll be under pressure to virtualise 50 servers on it
            Gareth Howells

            BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

            Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

            Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

            "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

            "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: RAID level for SBS 03

              Why would I use a Sata External, becuse I did not see that you had a file server :P

              Opps, I thought this was a single server solution.

              My bad.

              Wofen
              Good to be back....

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: RAID level for SBS 03

                Again though, you surely wouldn't store your fileshares on a single un-RAIDed disk
                Gareth Howells

                BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: RAID level for SBS 03

                  IMHO 36Gb for the OS is pushing it, even with some apps moved to another volume
                  I'm just looking at a SBS (2 years old) for 10 users and the C volume is 24 Gb, with all apps on another one.

                  How about 2 x RAID 5 (72Gb each), one for OS, the other for data?
                  Or one big RAID array partitioned into OS and data volumes -- SBS will cope unless you have thousands of email transactions per day
                  Tom Jones
                  MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                  PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                  IT Trainer / Consultant
                  Ossian Ltd
                  Scotland

                  ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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                  • #10
                    Re: RAID level for SBS 03

                    I prefer to keep OS and Data/Exchange on separate spindles. If one goes, the other is intact! A small system as you are proposing, would be fine with either 3 disk in RAID 5 + hot spare, or all 4 disks in RAID5 - external SATA drive for backup!
                    TIA

                    Steven Teiger [SBS-MVP(2003-2009)]
                    http://www.wintra.co.il/
                    sigpic
                    Iím honoured to have been selected for the SMB 150 list for 2013. This is the third time in succession (no logo available for 2011) that I have been honoured with this award.

                    We donít stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.

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                    • #11
                      Re: RAID level for SBS 03

                      But he's got 6 disks!
                      Tom Jones
                      MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                      PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                      IT Trainer / Consultant
                      Ossian Ltd
                      Scotland

                      ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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                      • #12
                        Re: RAID level for SBS 03

                        External SATA for backups not such a hot idea in my view as it means your backup disk is sat on the same bench as your server. NAS and external hard drives cost roughly the same amount and a NAS can be at the other end of the building

                        Backups will be to a gigabit NAS and external tape drive, with the tapes being stored at home in a safe. Not a fireproof safe but it is supposed to be magnetically shielded, and it seems unlikely that the office and the house would burn down on the same day, even with the amount of heat generating kit on my desk

                        Thanks for the input guys, points will be inbound
                        Gareth Howells

                        BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                        Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                        Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                        "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                        "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: RAID level for SBS 03

                          Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
                          and it seems unlikely that the office and the house would burn down on the same day
                          I suspect you are a fan (or at least have knowledge) of Terry Pratchett, so you should know all about "million to one chances"
                          Tom Jones
                          MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                          PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                          IT Trainer / Consultant
                          Ossian Ltd
                          Scotland

                          ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: RAID level for SBS 03

                            Originally posted by Ossian View Post
                            I suspect you are a fan (or at least have knowledge) of Terry Pratchett
                            Existing servers are ankh and morpork
                            Gareth Howells

                            BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                            Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                            Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                            "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                            "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: RAID level for SBS 03

                              Wot, no toasted figgins?
                              Tom Jones
                              MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                              PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                              IT Trainer / Consultant
                              Ossian Ltd
                              Scotland

                              ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

                              Comment

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