What is the fastest disk setup?

We have bought a new server.
This server contains 14 disks.
These disks are in a disk cabinet wich is connected to a PERC 4E/DC controller

What is the best setup for the fastest disk i/o throughput?
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howartAsked:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Best is going to be RAID 10 - Mirroring and RAID 0 striping.  But you will lose the effective space of 7 of those disks.
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howartAuthor Commented:
How do I configure that on a PERC 4E/DC controller?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Let me be clear - RAID 0 is actually the fastest, but has ZERO redundancy so you lose one of the 14 disks, you lose EVERYTHING.  RAID 0 is NOT recommended for MOST circumstances.

That controller supports RAID 10 - as noted here:
http://www1.us.dell.com/content/learnmore/learnmore.aspx?c=us&l=en&ref=CFG&s=gen&~id=serverharddrives&~line=servers&~mode=popup&~series=pedge&~tab=other

I've not worked on the PERC4E/DC controllers and it's been about 1.5 years since I used PERC controllers regularly.  I would suggest you consult the RAID controller documentation for greater details on how to setup.  I would think you would setup a RAID 0 on 7 disks then SPAN it to the other 7 disks... If you can, use the OpenManage Array Manager program in Windows - will probably be easier to setup the Array.
Reference your controller's documentation here:
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/storage/RAID/PERC4sc/en/ug/chap5.htm#1054160
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gurutcCommented:
howart,

The easiest way to configure the fanciest RAID levels on a PERC controller is to load the OS on a more standardized container, leaving unused drives connected to the controller, then load the Array Configuraton and Management Utility for your OS.  This will let you interactively set up and manage all the levels of RAID that the PERC controller supports.

- Travis
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gurutcCommented:
I use a setup quite like yours.  I have a RAID 5 configured in the server using it's internal hot-swap drives.  Then I have two Dell Powervault 220S Drive Array Cabinets that I configured using Dell's RAID Management Utility from within Windows.

Travis
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gurutcCommented:
Note that my comment just expands on the excellent advice from leew.  It is meant to support and provide detail for his suggestion.

- travis
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cooleditCommented:
hi, there

The fastest way is to use the Perc Controller Bios to do that here is what you do.

On the boot CTRL - M to go to the bios.

Configure
View add configuration
The disk is now being scanned.

1. Raid 5

2.   depending on how many disks you want to have in your raid 5 selecting a disk is by pressing the space key.
      so if you want 7 disks in your raid 5 you hit the SPACE  7 times.
3.   then hit the ENTER key
4.   Hit the F10 Key
5.   Hit the SPACE key
6.   hit the F10
7.   Accept the configuration
8.   You now need to initialize the configuration go to the main menu "ESC" save configuration
9.   Initialize the logical 0 which will be the first logical drive.


A raid 10 is very slow when rebuilding takes place

A Global hotspare is configured like this

Main menu
Object - Physical drive """"Scanning your drives again"
now pick the disk you want to make a hotspare and hit the Enter key assign Global hotspare...

Cooledit

I will make the same for the Raid 10 soon
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cooleditCommented:
Hi, there

Raid 10:

As per above

use the CTRL-M on the Perc Bios:

each Raid 1 is a mirror an a Raid 10 is containing more spans so here it goes for 4 disks.

configure
New configuration
make all the disk you want to content the raid 10 like this
Space 2 times for each raid 1 hit the enter then the next set of disk as a raid 1 again space space until all disks is used up then F10 select all as raid 1's now under the span you selct span 1 span 2 span 3 span 4 and so this is now a raid 10 containing severals spans.......


Cooledit
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gurutcCommented:
cooledit's Perc skills are impressive, but the Bios utility is a bear to use if you want to set all the container parameters at configuration.  If you already have the OS running on the drives in the server case it's a lot easier to use the Dell Openmanage Array Utility.  However, if you split points, cooledit deserves his share by concisely answering!!!

- travis
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
So gurutc and I didn't offer ANY comments that helped you?
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gurutcCommented:
We forgot the 'use the split button' comment!  ;-)
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