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Raid 5 or Raid 1 for file server and exchange server

Posted on 2004-10-04
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have already purchased a raid 5 server with 4 SCSI drives on a perc4-dc card. I was planning on using this server for running exchange on. Our mail storage size is around 8 gigs. So its not very much. Would I see any performance gain at all if I was to go with a raid 1 setup instead for my exchange server? I have been told with small databases and mostly read and very little write to the hard disk that raid 5 is the best option. How big does my database file need to reach before it become beneficial to go with raid 1.

Also, I need a file server. Mostly I see people using raid 5 for file servers. Would I be better off using raid 1 or raid 5 for this file server. This is for a new company with only a few employees. This server will also double as a domain controller. I was thinking that if I was better off using raid 1 in the exchange server I could then use the raid 5 server for my file server.

Thanks,
DMS
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Question by:DMS-X
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Expert Comment

by:zvitam
ID: 12222333
You may find the following thread useful.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_20639126.html

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by:XSINUX
XSINUX earned 100 total points
ID: 12222876
Servers dedicated for File share , the best way is to have a Raid 5. You will meet performance with redundancy. The strip the data on the number of hdds on the array and with a parity. --> Best Suggested is RAID 5

Going for Raid 1 would have Data Tolerance but the performance is compromised.

On RAID 0 there is no Data Redundancy. ( Striping without parity )  If one of the hdd fails in this array all of your data is lost. But performance is the max. Use it only if you have a good backup.
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by:samccarthy
samccarthy earned 200 total points
ID: 12223055
Bang for the buck, Raid 5 is a better way to go and will give you a small performance increase over Raid 1.  For the absolute best in redundancy where you cannot suffer a speed loss if you lose a drive, Raid 1 is the way to go.   I run all my servers, DC's, Exchange and File all on a Raid 5 array.  For the size you are looking at, you, me and the fence post will not see a speed difference.
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x86fix earned 200 total points
ID: 12223529
I like Raid 5 best for the file server, it handles the multiple requests better and you will see the best bang for the buck with that.  The Exchange is not going to be that taxed based on the size you describe - the mirror should be fine.  The other advantage to Raid 5 is that it is easy to increase size, and typically the file server is the one that needs to be increased.  
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Author Comment

by:DMS-X
ID: 12229952
>The other advantage to Raid 5 is that it is easy to increase size, and typically the file server is the one that needs to be increased.
Very good pint x86fix, thanks.

>Bang for the buck, Raid 5 is a better way to go and will give you a small performance increase over Raid 1.
samccarthy, I always heard different, I always read that raid 1 is better performance than raid 5. Raid 5 for bigger files and reading the disks while raid 1 is better for bigger files and writing to the disk. But were talking about milliseconds here : )

>Going for Raid 1 would have Data Tolerance but the performance is compromised.
Thats 3 people against me when I say raid 1 has better performance. I guess I am wrong!

Thanks guys!
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Expert Comment

by:elconomeno
ID: 12229977
defentitly use RAID5

RAID5 and raid 1 are both fault tolerant for disk crashes.
RAID5 needs a litle more time when writing information to the disks.
If we talk about Reading then both give almost the same result in performance
RAID5 is more expandeble then RAID1
so choose RAID5
for example :
in my company we use only RAID1 for Application Servers and RAID5 for Mail and File Server



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