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Windows Small Business Server R2 hardware configuratin recommendations

ohmErnie
ohmErnie asked
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
I am going to be seting up an SBS 2003 R2 server for a small company of 20-25 users and need some advice on hardware (harddrive) configurations.

My thoughts:

OS drive = RAID 1
Data = RAID 1 or 5

Should I create separate partions for the OS, AD db, Exchange DB, etc or can they all sit on C:\?  What are your recommendations?
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Would you recommend C: as RAID 1 and D-G as Raid 5 or something different?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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Depends on the usage of the server.  What kind of access will it have?  heavy utilization or "average" and "basic" e-mail and file sharing?  If you need high performance, than you want to put the Exchange database on it's own RAID 1 or better still, it's own RAID 10.  The C: drive I would just make RAID 1.  The E-F drives I would setup probably as RAID 5.  Strictly speaking, for an "average" server, one large hardware RAID 5 or  RAID 10 partitioned in the OS would be fine.

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Commented:
Would it be ok to create two partitions on the first RAID 1 for the OS and then for Exchange?  I am trying to figure out how to configure the server without more than 6 drives.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
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Commented:
That would be fine... BUT, how large is the physical disk you're using?  The C: drive does not need to be very big if you configure the server properly (12-16 GB should be fine).  But Exchange should be big to support growth - and e-mail growth can occur faster than you think it will.

As I said, Depends on the usage of the server.  Part of the reason to get it off the C: drive is to get if off the same spindles.  This way Exchange isn't contenting for disk time with the operating system.  BUT, in a light-to-low-moderate use server, this won't generally be an issue.

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