partition sizes for sbs2008

Posted on 2009-12-19
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
How would you recommend setting up partitions and sizes for a SBS2008 server installation with 450Gb of usable space (4 x 146Gb sas 15k disks on raid 5), and on which partitions would you locate the following:
OS, Pagefile, OS Temp folder, Exchange DB, Exchange logs,  Data.
Exchange DB will be at most 30 Gb and User Data 120Gb.

Question by:ndidomenico
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    C: OS Partition 60GB

    D : Data Partition - USER Data 250GB

    E : Exchange Data + WSUS 100GB

    F : Sharepoint DATA (if you are using sharepoint) or you can divide this space amongst the user and exchange partition
    This is just a suggestion, you can better judge the situation by the number of users you have, and you can judge whether they would be increasing more user data or email data / exchange data over time and can then create partitions accordingly.
    I normally create a SBS OS partition of 60GB or 50GB keeping in mind future updates or app installs

    You can move Exchange, User folder redirection, user shares, WSUS, Sharepoint data via the SBS Console
    You can also accomodate WSUS and user data on partition and keep exchange on a separate partition
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    Since all of this disks are in a single RAID 5 array you will not gain any performance benefit from splitting the array into multiple partitions.  I would recommend at least two partitions.  The first, C:, for the operating system and pagefile.  This should be at least 64GB (W2K8 can be quite a pig).  The second, D:, should be for Applications and Data.  My reasoning for this arrangement is that if you have a major melt down in the OS you can wipe out your OS partition (worst case scenario) while keeping your Data files intact.

    LVL 46

    Accepted Solution

    Actually, you can gain some performance benefit by breaking it up, especially if you have applications that are tuned for certain I/O sizes.   I.e, SQL server does I/O in 64KB chunks, so if you have a large SQL database, then create NTFS so that it is set for 64KB ...

    But in your case, it won't help you.  You have a 4 disk RAID5 set.  This is *horrible* and in efficient.  Consider if you configured controller for 16KB stripe size per disk.   Your O/S wants to write 64KB.    This takes 2 I/Os instead of 1, because you only get 3x16KB (48KB) of data with a single set of reads.  So if you want 64KB, then you have to get 2 x 3 x 16KB I/Os,

    So bottom line, the most efficient thing you can do with this RAID5 of yours is a single partition.  All of the housekeeping for the D,E,F, partitions will compete with each other along with the C partition, so by leaving only 1 partition, you will have fewer disk I/Os total, and higher probability of caching by the O/S.


    Author Comment

    dlethe: would a raid 10 configuration be less "horrible" and efficient ? What would you recommend ? We would probably be ok with 292Gb (raid 10) of usable space instead of 438Gb in raid 5.

    I guess (correct me if i'm wrong) the ideal minimum configuration would be the OS on a raid 1 set, and then data on a raid 10 (4 disks), with a hot spare, for a total of 7 disks, but the budget is limited.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    If you could spring for it I would get two 73GB SCSI drives for a mirrored array to put the OS partition on. .  This is for a 73GB SAS Drive from for $70, you did not mention what kind of drives you are using.
    LVL 65

    Assisted Solution

    The first configuration posted isn't valid.
    The subsequent posts about using 73gb drives for the OS are also not valid because of the 80gb requirement.
    SBS 2008 will not install in less than 80 gb. Based on experience you want a lot more than that.

    Personally I would build two arrays of 146gb each.
    On the first array it would be 120gb for the OS and then 20gb for the Exchange transaction logs.
    The second array would then be for the Exchange data.

    All of that would be deployed in to VMWARE ESXi.
    TO increase storage, because you don't have enough space, I would then get an external VWMARE Compatible NAS, such as an IOMEGA device, which can provide storage for the user data (the Exchange data would stay on the server).

    RAID 5 is slow and will only give you 420 of space at most and will simply thrash the drive. You want to two arrays as a minimum, purely to get the performance out of it. Anything else is just going to thrash.

    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    based on your comments a single raid10 is the best solution.  no reason to break it up into 2 logical drives ... that will hurt you.  next purchase a hot spare, then add a raid1 for swap , scratch tables, etc when budget permits

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