How to best configure 13 drive array for SQL Server

The hardware had been purchased when i arrived here.  It's a Dell Powervault with 13 73 Gig drives.

My bosses want:

- fault tolerance
- fault tolerance
- fault tolerance
- fault tolerance
- fault tolerance, and, of course,
- fault tolerance.

And they want it to be fast too.

What would be the best way to configure these drives to provide both. Had a bad experience with a single point of failure web server on Friday - one drive in a four drive RAID 5 array crashed and the thing just wallowed while it compensated.r

Originally, the vision for this array was 10 drives RAID-5.  We're wondering now if that is the best route.  Another opinion here is two mirrored RAID 5 volumes of 5 drives each.

What is the best way to configure this so that the failure of one drive doesn't bring drag our enterprise into the mud?

John
JXCovertAsked:
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ccsenetConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you are that much worried about Fault Tolerance you have the following options:

1. Use RAID10 (if you do not care about the storage space that is used up in this configuration)
http://www.acnc.com/04_01_10.html
You can loose upto 4 drives without any loss. This option is best for fault tolerance and performance

2. Survive three failures:
Configure 11 Hard Disks in RAID 5 and then 2 as Hot Spares

3. Have a look at RAID6 also http://www.acnc.com/04_01_06.html

You have to ensure that your RAID controller supports the RAID10/RAID6 option
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FDzjubaCommented:
question back to you:

WHAT ITS GOT TO DO WITH SQL SERVER?
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JXCovertAuthor Commented:
Heh

Good question.

This array will "house" our SQL 2000 data, with two SQL Servers Active-Passive connected to it.

Thanks for the question.

John
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FDzjubaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
this is the relevent discussion:
http://www.sql-server-performance.com/forum/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=372

http://www.databasejournal.com/features/mssql/article.php/3114651

from the above article, summarizing:

you can configure disks for data and for transaction logs separetly, then have one for backup, in this case you would provide pretty good security of your data. Having 100% data backup in place,
if your data disk fails -  you have you previous backup & transaction log
if your transaction log fails - you got data -> start new transaction log
if your backup drive fails - you got tape, if you don't, simply backup database & transaction log

if everything fails then its probably armagedon or something like that and there is no point to live anyway
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