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Server RAID Configurations

by jeffn825 / July 27, 2008 9:03 AM PDT


We have a PowerEdge 6800 with 4 3.0Ghz dual core CPUs. We've recently added several more drives to the system and I'm evluating how to reconfigure the RAID array(s).

Right now we have 10 300GB 10k RPM drives on a split backplane hooked into a PCI Express PERC RAID card. 5 drives on each channel.

We have 2 73GB 15k RPM drives in a media cage, hooked up to the onboard RAID controller.

The server acts as a file server and SQL server. Both roles are important, but the file server performance takes precedence. Also, there's only about 20GB of SQL data, whereas there is about 500GB-600GB of file server data.

I'm currently torn between 3 solutions and was hoping to get some advice on what will yield optimal performance:

1. OS on a RAID 1 on the two 73GB drives. 2 RAID arrays on the backplane. I'm thinking 1 with 3x300GB drives in a RAID 5 for the SQL data. And 7x300GB drives in a RAID 5 for the file server data.

2. OS on a RAID 1 on the two 73GB drives. 1 RAID 5 array across all ten drives on the backblane. I realize this would be best performing overall....but I'm worried about SQL Server degrading the performance of the file server.

3. SQL on a RAID 1 across the two 73GB drives. OS on a RAID 1 of two drives on the backplane. The remaining 8 300GB drives on the backplane would be in a RAID 5. I'm thinking this might be good because the two 73GB drives are 15k RPM which might make a difference for SQL (vs. the 10k RPM 300GB drives)...and also they best suit the needs of the SQL data size wise (about 20GB).

What are your thoughts?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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