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Windows Small Business Server R2 hardware configuratin recommendations

ohmErnie asked
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
Most Valuable Expert 2013

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.


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
Most Valuable Expert 2013

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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