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Raid configuration in new ESXi/Exchang machine

Posted on 2009-04-21
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I am setting up a new Dell R710 with the following specs:
2x E5504 procs, 16gb Ram, 8x 146gb 10k SAS drives, ESXi.
It will be running the latest version of ESXi, and will host (at the outset) 2 VM.  The first VM will be Server 2008 and Exchange 2007 for 20 users.  The second VM will be either my web server (Server 2003 with Blackberry BES) or PGP Universal Server (WebMessenger).  I was planning on giving Exchange 8gb of ram, and then 2gb to the webserver, leaving some for future growth of the server.

My question is this - what's the best RAID configuration for throughput.  ESXi is embedded so the disks will be just for the VM's.  Should I do one of the following:

Raid 1+0 (I think this will give me ~296gb of storage), but no separation of OS and databases
Raid 1 (2 disks) for OS, Raid 5 (5 disks) for databases, 1 hot spare
Raid 5 with 1 or 2 hot spares
Or something completely different?

Thanks for the help!
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Question by:alanpeabody
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by:kumarnirmal
kumarnirmal earned 240 total points
ID: 24195630
Exchange 2007 System Requirements - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719.aspx

Size your VM configuration accordingly.

With respect to RAID Config, I suggest RAID 1 for OS and RAID 5 for DB and 1 Hot spare

If you want additional details about other normal RAID and nested RAID Levels - please use the below mentioned links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nested_RAID_levels

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID

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aldanch earned 260 total points
ID: 24197742
alanpeabody,

Exchange 2007
The breakdown is typically by RAID types

C: OS and Exchange binaries = RAID1 or RAID10
E: Exchange mailbox/Public folders = RAID5 or RAID10
P: Page File = RAID1 or RAID10
S: SMTP/MTA queue = RAID1 or RAID10
T: Transaction Logs = RAID1 or RAID10

Why consider a RAID 50, if your Dell PERC supports it. This will be two 4-disk RAID arrays striped, no hot spares. This will give you the best of both worlds (speed and capacity).

Otherwise I'd go with either:
"Raid 1+0 (I think this will give me ~296gb of storage), but no separation of OS and databases"
OR
"Raid 1 (2 disks) for OS, Raid 5 (5 disks) for databases, 1 hot spare"

The first gives you 584GB RAW storage with great performance, while the second gives you segregation of OS and Database (and the hot spare is a nice to have, too!) and meets your Exchange requirements.
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Author Closing Comment

by:alanpeabody
ID: 31572795
Thanks to both.  I gave aldanch a touch more for correcting me on the RAID 1+0 capacity.
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