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Smart RAID ARRAYS 6i CONFIG

Posted on 2009-05-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07

Hi All,
I've a Hp with 6x72 GB hard drives, 4GB RAM, Dual Processors.  I wanna make sure everything is properly configured before I get the ball rolliing.  First and foremost, I need a quick disaster recovery scheme and a good fault tolerance.  The system will have Exchange, VMWare and AD and might serve as a file print/server ?? too.   What's the best practice and the most acceptable way to configure this baby?
thanks for your help on this matter.
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Question by:timnjohnson
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by:firemouse
ID: 24417628
Raid 5
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by:Mestha
ID: 24417695
Hardly the greatest of answers above.

Are you putting everything in to VMWARE? If so, then I would probably look at three RAID 1 mirrors. Then spread the data across each one.

Exchange needs to have at least two arrays for optimum performance (one for the logs and one for the database). The OS and applications can live with the logs quite happily, although I usually put the logs on to a different partition of the same disk.

With regards to DR, the simple rule is that the longer you can be without the system the cheaper it will be. The only way to get fast DR is going to be a second system operating on a cluster of some description, possibly using ESX (the full version) and some of its toys.

Simon.
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by:potva03
ID: 24417701
The below link would give you detailed information about different Raid levels and the advantages. Baed on your requirement you can opt :


http://www.acnc.com/04_01_00.html
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by:andyalder
ID: 24419628
Mestha says you need 2 arrays for exchange, so you'll need another one for AD/GC, another one for VMware and another one for file/print. That's not going to happen with 6 disks.

The seperate arrays for logs/data is more a data seperation thing than for performance, of you lose the data disks you still have backup and up to date logs. If you can afford to lose a days mail then you can mix logs and data even though it's not best practice.

Since you haven't got enough disks for all those seperate arrays I would make 1 RAID 10 out of the 6 disks and then carve it up into several logical disks. With a Smart Array controller you can have several logical disks on the same spindles and you can even have differing RAID levels and stripe sizes on them. So you could go RAID 10 for OS, RAID 5 for data, RAID 10 for transaction logs, etc...
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by:timnjohnson
ID: 24420045

andyalder:
I'm looking into your suggestions but not fully familiar with RAID 10 enviroment.  It looks good and needs a second look given the load on the server.  Anything else you might have thought of?  
 
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andyalder earned 500 total points
ID: 24420156
It's not specifically RAID 10, with that controller you first create an array of 6 disks without any RAID level associated with them, then create logical disks on top of that that have the RAID level set. so you can put the fast stuff on RAID 10 and the rarely accessed stuff on RAID 5.

I would recommend you buy a battery backed write cache enabler for the 5i if you haven't already got one, 128MB Battery Backed Write Cache Enabler Option Kit 346914-B21.

Make sure you align your disks, you can't do that for the OS since you install using SmartStart but for Exchange data, VMware etc it does improve throughput. See www.vmware.com/pdf/esx3_partition_align.pdf (align the Exchange data partition even if it's not running under VMware, instructions are the same on how to use diskpart).
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by:timnjohnson
ID: 31582625
Great ideas and good learning tool.
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