SBS 2008 disk drive configuration

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    nroy
    Member
    #149595

    Hello everyone,

    I’m about to buy a new server and migrate from SBS 2003 Premium to SBS 2008 Standard. I asked Dell to configure my disks as follows:

    3 Spindles:

    RAID 1: Two 146GB 15K RPM Serial-Attach SCSI 3Gbps 3.5in hotplug (for OS, APPS & Swap)
    RAID 5: Three 300GB 15K RPM Serial-Attach SCSI 3Gbps 3.5in hotplug (for Exchange logs & User Data)
    RAID 5: Three 300GB 15K RPM Serial-Attach SCSI 3Gbps 3.5in hotplug (for Exchange database)

    Here’s what Dell suggested:

    2 spindles:

    RAID 1: Two 146GB 15K RPM Serial-Attach SCSI 3Gbps 3.5in hotplug (for OS, APPS & Swap)
    RAID 1 + 0: Four 300GB 15K RPM Serial-Attach SCSI 3Gbps 3.5in hotplug (for Exchange Logs, Exchange database and user data)

    With this configuration my Exchange logs and Exchange database won’t be separated.

    Me, I would like to have them on two different spindles according to what I read on different books and as I always did with other versions of Exchange.

    However, Dell assures me that I don’t need to separate them because of the speed of the disk drive.

    I am not an expert with hardware and I would like to have your suggestions.

    Basically, my question is: Do I need to separate my logs and database even if I have super fast disk drives?

    Thank you!

    Nicolas

    #344193

    Re: SBS 2008 disk drive configuration

    Go with your option, although I’d rather see an extra drive as a hot-sparem either shared between the RAID 5s, or 1 each.

    Keep in mind that you can easily change the RAID structure before you install the OS, but not if you don’t have the disks you want :)

    Avatar
    teiger
    Member
    #230527

    Re: SBS 2008 disk drive configuration

    I beg to differ. Everything I read these days tells me that RAID5 is slow to write to and where possible use the RAID 10.
    I agree, however, that a hot spare would be desirable somewhere in the setup.

    #344196

    Re: SBS 2008 disk drive configuration

    I think we could do with knowing how much data is involved, since that may well affect the decision – if you’re going with SBS then presumably cost is one of the major driving factors behind the decision.

    And personally, I’d still want to see Exchange data and logs on different arrays (and if I was being overly pessimistic, different RAID controllers too :razz:).

    Avatar
    nroy
    Member
    #298757

    Re: SBS 2008 disk drive configuration

    Thanks for your reply Steven,

    I agree with you for the RAID 10, but my concern is about putting Exchange logs and database on the same spindles. What do you think? I always heard that they should be separated?
    And, having one RAID 1 and two RAID 10 will cost me a fortune. Or, should I put three RAID 1?

    Thanks a lot to you all!

    Nicolas

    Avatar
    nroy
    Member
    #298758

    Re: SBS 2008 disk drive configuration

    Thanks for your reply Gareth,

    We actually use 135 GB total.
    34G for OS & applications
    4GB for swap & exchange logs
    13GB for Exchange database
    84GB for user data

    So, I figure that for next 5 years 600GB should be fair enough.

    I have a 15K budget for server, firewall (it’s going to be a Calyptix), SwingIt migration, etc. So, money is not really a big issue, but I don’t want to exaggerate either.

    Nicolas

    tehcamel
    tehcamel
    Moderator
    #355950

    Re: SBS 2008 disk drive configuration

    I’d agree with keeping Exchange Logs and Dbase separate.

    Consider this option instead:

    2x300GB system RAID1

    2x300GB Exchange Logs RAID1
    2x300GB Exchange DB RAID1

    2x300GB Global Hot Spares.

    So we’ve acheived something similar to Dell’s suggestion, but still got logs and db separate. Also no overall reduction in space…

    Avatar
    teiger
    Member
    #230530

    Re: SBS 2008 disk drive configuration

    For how many users is this? 8 disks sounds a bit like overkill to me.

    Avatar
    Ossian
    Moderator
    #181730

    Re: SBS 2008 disk drive configuration

    Agree — most SBS setups I have done use a single RAID1 or RAID5 and work quite happily with up to 20 users. For much more 2x RAID1 would probably be ample.

    Sounds as if a salesman is counting his bonus somewhere :lol:

    Avatar
    teiger
    Member
    #230531

    Re: SBS 2008 disk drive configuration

    And the most I have done is 2 X disks as RAID1 for system partition + static data partition with 3 X disks as RAID5 for Exchange/Sharepoint/User data. With 20 users it still flies.

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    Silver23
    Member
    #292267

    Re: SBS 2008 disk drive configuration

    The suggested Dell configuration is fine

    I recommend you keep your pagefile on the c:disk..
    Put OS in mirror

    Exchange in RAID 10; keep logs and database together, this is in no way a problem.
    If you have a scsi controller with some cache(512MB/1GB?) it shouldnt be a problem to keep user data there as well. Though I dont actually recommend doing that, It shouldnt really be any problem.

    You could also consider creating a RAID 5 array for the user data as it is better performance wise and easier to expand. And it would separate your user data from your exchange database.

    furthermore putting it on one scsi controller is not a problem load wise; But you will have a SPOF. Making an affordable completely redundant setup is impossible.
    Personally I’ve never had any scsi controller die, unless it arrived dead. =-)

    Hope this helps!

    Avatar
    Anonymous
    #370790

    Re: SBS 2008 disk drive configuration

    With the speeds of hard disks now you can happly put everything on a single RAID 1 (or just a single disk, if you really wanted) for access speed (in the SBS world, anyhow).

    As long as you have at lest a Raid 1, and at lest 2 different arrays, your Fine. You can do the “standard” Raid 1 OS, Raid 5 Exchange/data/user files setup, and that will work till you hit about 50 users. Its only once you hit these numbers that you need to start thinking your disk drive config.

    Basiclly, if you have a setup that you like, and you feel confitable with, Dont worry about what the salesman says, as his a sales man, not a tech. Do what you feel safe with, as at the end of the day, you will have to be resposibly for it.

    Just use the Rule of Data3-2-2. All Data should be stord on 3 devices, using 2 different types of storage, store at 2 differnet locations.

    Wofen

    #354322

    Re: SBS 2008 disk drive configuration

    In my experience in SBS environments I think you going on the over kill side. You will not see a performance difference on the end user side wether you use a RAID 10 or RAID 5. If you were going to Fire up SQL I would say yes look at Multiple RAID Volumes but in the SBS 2008 config that is on another server all together. So in Short Mirror for OS, RAID 5 for Data drive – If you have Dell Mission Critical support Hot swop is Nice to have but neccessary. I have yet to see a hot swop spare come in to play. (10 years of SBS experience talking)Usually if more than one drive fails on a server chances are it will happen before the Hotswop can rebuild.

    In closing – My logic is based on SME Budget. Get a good server with good practical and tested solutions that will not break the bank for what in reality is just a mail server and a file server.

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