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Optimal Exchange 2007 Drive Configurations

Posted on 2009-04-08
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
We are experiencing poor disk performance on our Exchange 2007 server (about 30 users) running on new Dell Poweredge 2900.  It is installed on SBS 2008, with everything on one RAID 5, in separate volumes per Microsoft's Small Business Server setup guidelines.  We have ordered 4 additional drives (15k RPM 147GB).  What is the best way to configure the exchange data on the drives/volumes for optimal Exchange performance?  Is it enough to have the logs and database on separate volumes on a RAID 1 or should we create two RAID sets?
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Question by:sebesta
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tigermatt earned 500 total points
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Ouch! RAID 5 for Exchange is not the best configuration; in fact, it's probably one of the worst. It has very poor write performance, which means writing to the Exchange databases becomes a nightmare.

For optimal performance, you would want to max out your new disks by creating a RAID 10 array. This will use all 4 disks. Then, relocate your Exchange databases to the volume on the RAID 10, and that will give much better performance for Exchange.

For disaster recovery, you need the transaction logs and databases on two physically separate arrays. I would leave the logs on the present RAID 5, and migrate the databases to the new RAID 10 array.

-Matt
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by:sebesta
ID: 31568221
We bought some new drives and set up a RAID 10, although it looks like optimal performance may be for the logs to be on there as well as they are strictly write operations.
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by:tigermatt
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Optimal performance and redundancy is not for log files to be on the same array as the databases. If you do this, you will have NO REDUNDANCY or disaster recovery whatsoever in Exchange.

Log Files and Databases NEED to be on separate arrays on a proper server.

-Matt
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