Best Pratice on how many drives needed?

Posted on 2008-10-02
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
How many 146 GB HD's will i need to have 900GB of storage space and 100GB for the OS and Programs?
Question by:AlQue
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 22630949
Why do you want 100 GB for the OS and programs?  You only need 12-20 GB.  

Seems like simple math... 900/146 = 6.16 - so 7 drives should cover you.

Of course, that assumes you don't use RAID.  If you use RAID, then a RAID 5 requires 8 disks.  And a RAID 10 requires 14 drives.  If you want 1 or more Hot Spares, then add 1 or more disks to that total.
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 22630957
But really, how you configure your drives depends on what you're going to use the server for.  Databases?  Web server?  File Server?  Then, what kind of load.  Databases for 10 users... 10,000 users?  Web server for a web site with 5000 hits per month... or 5 million hits per month... File server with 10 users or 5000 users?

If you really want a good answer, we need more details.

Author Comment

ID: 22635877
okay, I would like to setup a Windows STD ED. File Server for about 65 Users.. I  have 200GB OF NETWORK SHARED FOLDERS and I  was thinking of using a IBM 3650 server with 4: 3.5 SAS 300GB drives and run them on RAID 1 array.  I will also like to use (50GB) for NOS and programs.. That should give me about 500GB of file storage which should be good for a few years..
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 22636558
I think that's a huge waste.  Even on a workstations station system, when was the last time you saw an OS and programs use even half the space you want to allocate for them?

Frankly, this is a server.  As you describe, it's going to be a FILE server.  File servers don't need much in the way of programs.  MAYBE a couple of small utilities... but otherwise, nothing.  I would suggest the following:

2x500 GB drives.
1x100 GB (or as small as you can go but a minimum of 100 GB).

RAID 1 Mirror with the two 500 GB drives.  Partition them as such:
C: 12 GB - OS
D: 488 GB - Storage

Then use the other disk for non-important things that don't need RAID.  For example, Volume Shadow Copy.  The Pagefile.  Perhaps as a program repository so you don't always need CDs for software installs. Anything that will not cause you serious headaches if the drive should fail.  (Data would cause you serious headaches).  By keeping the pagefile and volume shadow copy on a separate spindle, you will be less lilkely to affect performance on the server if paging because significant and you will be ensuring Volume Shadow copy does not slow things down during it's copies.

Also, keep in mind, this is a server - it runs the business - it should have a 24x7 warranty for no less than 3 years with 4 hour response if it's available in your area.  Then, when the warranty expires, the server should be repurposed and replaced.  I don't care what kind of warranty on your workstations you have - in a properly configured network , they are essentially disposable... but the server is not.  

Author Comment

ID: 22637766
Leew, that is one of the issues i'm currently facing here. The previous IT manager installed evey application from Accounting programs to anitvirus programs on this  srv with 12GB OS partition.. I don't see it as a waste. Considering I only have 1GB of space left on the old file server. I would just like to play it safe for any future installs that might be needed.
LVL 96

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 22638813
Let me stress this - APPLICATIONS (Binaries) belong on C:.  APPLICATION DATA DOES NOT belong on C:.  Please refer to my web page that discusses boot drive size and moving data off the C: drive -

Servers are to be setup once with the occasional upgrade.  The amount of space used on the C: drive should be minimal.  There is the base install of Windows, the BINARIES for the applications, and a SMALL amount of space for profiles.  That's it.  NOTHING ELSE should be on the C: drive.

So the last guy made some mistakes in setting up the server - you don't need to make these mistakes... you know better and have guidance.  (Read the article - my arguments and logic are all there).

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