What is the best RAID configuration for Exchange 2007 SP1?

Posted on 2008-11-10
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I need to install Exchange 2007 SP1 and I would like your suggestions for the RAID configuration.
This is what I have available:
-HP DL380 G4 dual processors (Xeon 3.0 Ghz with 64 bit support) and 10 GB of RAM
-Two 72 GB SCSI (10K RPM) for the OS (RAID 1) which will be Windows Server 2008.
-Four 300 GB SCSI (10K RPM) for everything else.
-The size of the existing storage group (mailboxes and PF) is around 75 GB (currently running Exchange 2003).
Please aso include the number (and what to use them for) of volumes / partitions that would provide the best performance with the given resources.
Any and all advise is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
Question by:xartek
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    Personally I would just slay those 4 300 GB SCSI drives in a RAID 5 array, it gives you a performance boost and redundancy.
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    In older versions of Exchange, it was important to have the databases on a fast RAID 10.  HOWEVER, Exchange 2007, thanks to it's 64bit only nature which removes RAM limits, was designed to use as much RAM as it can.  As a result, I would suggest upgrading the RAM.  Lots of RAM won't hurt.  I would then create TWO mirrors for two different information stores and put each other's logs on the opposite mirror.  I don't like RAID 5 much any more - I've seen way too many occasions of it failing for no good reason.
    LVL 63

    Expert Comment

    I tend to agree, but would consider RAID  1+0 using the 4 drives.

    2 sets of RAID 1 for the data either by themselves or striped.

    1 RAID 1 for the OS.

    I would also keep a hot spare available.

    I hope this helps !
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    I would just add in response to:

    leew: I have used RAID 5 on literally 100's of servers and haven't ever had it fail "for no good reason". Drives sometimes fail and controller cards sometimes fail, but with the redundancy (and a good backup scheme) the chance for data loss is virtually 0.

    SysExpert: If you use a RAID 0+1 configuration you are losing 50% of the combined space of the drives.
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    MS recommendation for Exchange (inc 2007) is always

    As much RAM as you can afford, allow for at least OS requirements + 10Mb per mailbox (we're running 32GB)
    RAID 1 for OS (page file performance) (also Exchange binaries tend to reside here)
    RAID 1 for Exchange DB logs
    RAID 1 or 5 for Exchange database itself

    300Gb is overkill for Exchange logs, so perhaps trade these in for a pair of 72s and some more RAM to give you

    2x 72 in R1 for C:
    2x 72 in R1 for L: logs
    2x 300 in R1 for D: databases
    LVL 55

    Expert Comment

    With the large size of today's disk drives there's very little reason to use the slow RAID 5 compromise over RAID 10 nowadays. You would be sacrificing write performance just to save the price of 1 disk.

    BTW, the HP 10K U320 universal disks are end of life, unless you've already got them you'll have to get the faster 15Ks.

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