Domain Controller Setup and drive setup

Dell 2950 servers 4HD 80G this will be a domain Controller. The question is how should it be setup the hardware? Raid 0,1,5  Ony have  one  C or  have C E D. It will be use  to connect  Sonic Walll Tape Back Up Anitvirus Intrusion protection network printer?
Second 2950 Server same hardware has as above this will not be a domain controller it will be  exchange the setup
for performance raid  0 1 5
for recover raid  0 1 5
for both performance & recover what  is the best raid 0 1 5? only 25- 50 email boxes EX 2003
For  exchange How many drives what  I mean is  raid 5 and have  C D E or just C on raid 5
graypcrhaAsked:
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bhnmiCommented:
I like to go with 40 gig OS parttions and the rest data store. raid 5 if possible for resundency which is more important on a DC then performance.
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Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
I also would configure a separate partition for the OS - 30-40 gigs - and the rest for Data.  If I have a server that will be handling both programs and data, I will make 2 additional partitions (besides the OS) - D for programs and E for data.  Just easier for keeping track of what's installed program-wise versus data storage.  So, for the Exchange server, I would have C (OS), D (Exchange) and E (Exchange data files).

The best choice for performance, redundancy and recovery from a hard drive failure is hardware RAID 5 with at least one hot spare drive configured.  Dell's RAID controllers are fine and they will usually preconfigure the RAID array for you.  However, I usually end up removing their configuration, because they will configure all of the drives in one array.  Ideally you want to have at least one hot spare available; so, if you order 4 hard drives, configure 3 as a single RAID array and configure the 4th as a hot spare for the array.
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ewavefrontCommented:
Raid 0 is for performance only, no redundancy. For servers' usage, forget about Raid 0.
Raid 1 is good for redundancy (recover) but slow in "write" performance.
Since you have 4 HD, Raid 5 is perfect (good in both redundancy and performance) and requires minimum 3 drives. So, configure 3 drives as Raid 5 array and the remaining drive as the "hot" spare disk (which will be utilized automatically when any one of the 3 drives of the array goes down).

Two partitions, e.g. C & E, will be enough. One for OS & Server Applications (20 to 40 GB) and the other for data. Note that for the domain controller you may need more space for various server applications, so assign more space on C:. For Exchange Server, leaves as much space as possible for the non-OS partition to store mail data.
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lnkevinCommented:
Raid 1 is good for redundancy (recover) but slow in "write" performance....

Not at all. In fact, RAID 1 is outstanding for write performance compared to RAID 5. Check the following result between RAID 1 and RAID 5
http://blogs.sun.com/mrbenchmark/entry/raid_1_vs_raid_56

With 4 drives, for better redundancy you want to set up RAID 6. RAID 6 provides fault tolerance from two drive failures; array continues to operate with up to two failed drives. This makes larger RAID groups more practical, especially for high availability systems.
With 4 drives for better performance robust you want to create RAID 10 (1+0). RAID 10 is excellent solution for sites that would have otherwise gone with RAID 1 but need some additional performance boost.
The above analysis is just to clarify the best performance and the best redundancy. For a small environment less than 100 users, you best cost effective with decent performance is RAID 5. Although RAID 5 does not give you the best write performance for Exchange, but it could well support your number of users.
In term of partition, 20GB for OS partition (C:) and the rest of space allocate to E: (for application, Exchange and logs). Make sure you DO NOT install any applications (include backup apps), logs, or Exchange on C:. the C: is only home of OS and baseline application (AV, Smartcard, OS support pack...)

K
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andyalderCommented:
RAID 6 is even worse write performance than RAID 5, stick to RAID 1 and RAID 10 whenever you can.
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