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Best Raid config for OS Partition

Posted on 2009-05-07
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I just got a new HP Proliant server with 8 146 GB 15K drives. I was planning on setting up the first 2 drives as Raid 1, but noticed that they have an option to "Use one drive as spare". Not sure what that means, but is anyone doing Raid 0 and checking the Use drive as spare box?
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Question by:judsoncollege
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That would be a very bad idea for your OS partition.  RAID 0 means that the data is striped across the drives for performance, but there is no redundancy.  RAID 1 is the way to go.  That way if one drive failes then the other 1 will take over.  Now at that point you are in a delicate situation.  You have lost your redundancy until you replace the defective drive.  That is where the spare comes into play.  If you designate a spare, it will take over for any drive that fails.  Once you replace the failed drive, the controller will rebuild the array and then the spare will go back to being a spare.  One spare drive can cover multiple arrays.  With 8 drives you could go with a RAID 1 for your OS, a RAID 5 with 5 drives for data, and one hot spare.

What role will this server be performing?
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by:judsoncollege
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It will be a domain controller/app/file server. I would rather have 2 servers, but money is an issue. What is the deal with the Maximum boot partition? Should I disable the Max boot partition? If I do I guess it gives me a 4 GB Max patition and if I Enbale it then it gives 8 GB Max? Thanks. What are your thoughts on leaving leaving one fo the extra 6 drives as a spare? Not sure if I should really waste part of 146 GB.
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by:bcoyxp
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hi,

in addition to the above's comment, i'd like to share with you my common practice in an enterprise setup. I am handling a number servers in an enterprise domain and for our standard, RAID 1+0  is applied on first 2 HDDs (you have this option in HP, yet it is actually RAID 1) the OS partition, the rest is set to RAID 5 or RAID 6 (when the number of disks is more than 10)

the advantage of RAID 1+0 is that you could replace the disk (one at a time) "on the fly" on the event of Hard disk failure.

say, i am having same spec of your server; i should be setting it this way:

HDD1 to HDD2 - RAID 1+0 is applied, set for OS partition
HDD3 to HDD8 - RAID 5 is applied, set for Data partition

hope this gives you an idea.

Regards,
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by:bcoyxp
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hi,

have you looked into running Hyper-V instead or any virtualization option?
by this way, you could utilized your server hardware well.
aside from that, application/service conflict shall be prevented.
at least your application server, file server, etc. shall be isolated when a problem occur.

if you are in to windows, you have option to install enterprise edition (with hyper-v). and you can have 4 free licenses for your VM servers.

Regards,  
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by:richn
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Bcoyxp, may I ask what RAID 1+0 is?  We are an IBM shop as opposed to HP, and I am unfamiliar with that terminology.
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by:lnkevin
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Not sure what that means, but is anyone doing Raid 0 and checking the Use drive as spare box?

I will be more specific to your question. NO, not with RAID 0. Basically, spare is using to replace a failed drive and remirror data from the existing ACTIVE drive. If you use RAID 0, when it's down, there is no existing ACTIVE drive to copy the data back so you will loose your data.
For the best OS configuration I will go with the above suggestion:

2X146GB for OS and application (C: partition for OS and D: or E: for all applications and logs)
6X146GB for Fileshare (F: partition).

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by:lnkevin
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the advantage of RAID 1+0 is that you could replace the disk (one at a time) "on the fly" on the event of Hard disk failure....

Not if your drives are not hot swappable. If your drives are hot swappable you can replace it "on the fly" (while server is running) even if you are running RAID 5. Basically, RAID 1+0 is RAID 1 mirror set applied for more than 2 drives in the even number of drives. That said, you can only set RAID 1+0 (RAID 10) with 4, 6, 8, 10..... drives. RAID 10 is the best write performance wise set up, but it takes the most space for redundancy.

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by:richn
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If RAID 1+0 is the same as RAID 10, then it has no benefit over RAID 1 from the perspective of being able to replace a failed drive "on the fly"; both RAID levels support that.  From the perspective of performance, your OS drive should never be large enough to require RAID 10.  If it is, then you have too much crap stored on it.
To reinforce what I said in my first post, and what has been repeated by others, RAID 0 gives you no redundancy in the case of a failed drive and is not appropriate for your OS drive, or any other drive where the drive contains the primary copy of important data.  The most common use of RAID 0 would be for something like streaming video, where there is another copy of the data that can then be restored to the RAID 0 array should it fail.  While the RAID 0 array was in a failed state, the data would be unavailable.  If there was no backup copy of the data, it would also be unrecoverable.
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by:bcoyxp
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hi,

pardon for the late reply, Inkevin's comment is right with regards to "on the fly" comment.
IBM do have the same practice on RAID systems, you're still be able to apply such system to IBM.
since you have mentioned that an HP machine is what you are having, just make use of the HP smartstart CD provided with. through it you will be guided in deploying your server.

Regards,
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by:judsoncollege
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Thanks guys.
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