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Trying to figure out how to rebuild HP DL380 raid arrays.

Posted on 2009-04-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I recently assumed a role where I am responsible for the database server.
This database is SQL 2005 with MS Dynamics 10 running on top of .it, running server 2003.
 I was looking at the configuration and noticed that all 8 drives are setup as raid 5, the performance is terrible.

I was thinking in my limited experience that a mirrored primary C:// drive with the other 4 in a raid 5 configuration? Not sure waht hte other 2 drives would be doing.

Am i mislead and to lead the database running raid 5? If I am correct in wanting to reconfigure the server what is the best way to change the production server after hours to the appropriate or optimal configuration?
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Question by:manelson05
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by:dmathwizard
ID: 24112881
If its critical the server must be up at all times or most of the time then leave it alone. If not and there is about 12 hours of no access then your plan sounds good but something in the back of my mind says they did that for a reason.
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by:Thomas Wheeler
ID: 24112926
are you just getting bad performance from the raid? what raid card are you using in the DL380?
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by:manelson05
ID: 24112997
The raid card is the integrated 200 raid controller.
I am not understanding why they would have set up the entire server with a massive C drive.

Is it not more efficient, better performance to have the os on one set of drive and then ahve the raid take all the paging hits?
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by:65td
ID: 24115003
If the box is paging it probably requires more RAM.
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andyalder earned 500 total points
ID: 24115216
RAID 5 write performance isn't good, half the speed of RAID 10 assuming the same number of disks.

It isn't clear which generation of DL380 you have, you say 8 disks which would imply a G5 but then you say the option of changing it to two mirrored plus 4 others which is only 6 disks which could be a previous generation. I'm guessing that the 200 RAID controller is an E200/128 BBWC since the E200 doesn't support RAID 5.

You would certainly be better off splitting 2/6 with the OS, pagefile and logs on the first two and the data on the other 6, all using RAID 10. 2 for the OS, 2 for the logs and the rest for data is preferable but you don't have many disks.


Windows 2003 will not have formatted the disk very well by default, it mis-aligns the sectors. You should use diskpart to align to a 64K boundary - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929491/en-us. At the moment each read is spanning 2 disks probably.

If you can't get it going fast enough by adding RAM and re-designing the disks and you're sure it is the disk subsystem that is the bottleneck then buy an external enclosure and lots more disks. This will also give the benefit of a better RAID controller since the e200 is an entry level one, you can get a P800 plus MSA70 for a good external shelf.

If you had more disk bays you could also migrate the RAID level by adding disks but that win't get around the align problem.
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Author Closing Comment

by:manelson05
ID: 31568799
I am going to get everything backed up, add another processor, Memory to 16Gb, Server 2008, reinstall, raid 10. May consider Virtualisation with 2 machines, base os Svr 2008 and ENG server on Virtualised 2003 server dedicated.
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