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Any thoughts on Exchange 2010 disk configuration?

Posted on 2010-08-12
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I've got a new Dell PowerEdge 710 w/ two 146GB 15k SAS drives in a RAID1 for the OS. I have a second array of four 300GB 15k SAS drives in a RAID10. In looking up best practices for configuring disks, all the sites seem to assume I have as many disks as I can imagine at my disposal. None offer any advice where I've got two RAID arrays to play w/. Any suggestions?

I'm thinking I've got my OS array (C:) and I'll keep transaction logs there and put the database on the second array (E:).

My question, do I gain anything by partitioning out the OS RAID1 array and/or the larger RAID10 array?

I've seen a few hints suggesting to partition out the smaller RAID1 array and put the OS on a 40GB partition there and then the logs on a 100GB partition, but this doesn't make sense to me. If the array is partitioned, it's still using the same physical disks so where is the performance improvement?

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Question by:xyden
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Author Comment

by:xyden
ID: 33422164
Sites I've looked at include:
http://aspoc.net/archives/2010/05/14/exchange-2010-storage-guidance-4/
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee832792.aspx

If I read these sites, they all suggest having at least one more array present. It's too late for that, the hardware is built, present, and accounted for. I'm not even sure I could repartition the OS partition now without reinstalling windows or using patition magic. Thankfully, I have not set anything up on the larger partition yet, but was planning on moving DB files there.
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sunnyc7 earned 500 total points
ID: 33422286
here is a better guidance I believe than the 2 links you checked.
It provides guidance for storage, logs, database raid

http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2007/01/15/432207.aspx

You can also download the Excel tool at the bottom and do your maths.

--
General note.
a) I believe it's not a good idea to reconfigure the raid for a OS/Exchange already installed. We might be getting into too many issues and after a point only reinstall is the only option left.
b) Logs - on Raid-10
Database on Raid-5, Raid-10 even better.

My question, do I gain anything by partitioning out the OS RAID1 array and/or the larger RAID10 array?
>> You can rehome the logs to raid-10. I am not sure what you will get by repartioning raid-1 array. Maybe someone else can drop in and suggest something.
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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33422304
The performance gains with Exchange 2010 greatly reduce the IO
you could most likely get away with having the logs with the OS and the database on the RAID10, probably less than 100 users in the environment
Since this is the only Exchange server you definitely want to keep the database and logs on separate volumes.
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Expert Comment

by:sunnyc7
ID: 33422392
To add to endital's suggestions
@ Also separate volume for page file and shadow copy (VSS)
Do not configure shadow copies for C:\

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Expert Comment

by:endital1097
ID: 33422419
i think you've been given several good suggestions
if you haven't built the server yet, i would visit the link from sunnyc7 for the storage calculator

in the end you need to ensure that the disk configuration has the correct IOPS for your user load
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Author Comment

by:xyden
ID: 33422788
Thanks all. If I did the calculator correctly, I need to budget for 74 IOPS on the database array and 15 IOPS on the log array. I need to double check vendor specs, but I think a safe ballpark number of IOPS on a 15k 3.5" SAS drive is around 100 (does this sound right)? If so, with four spindles in the db array and two in the log array, I should be covered.

I'm gonna go ahead and put the logs on the RAID1 OS array and keep the DB on the second array running RAID10. I'd do RAID10 on the OS array if I could, but only two disks limits that option. Thanks all!
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by:xyden
ID: 33422798
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by:sunnyc7
ID: 33422823
Id say put the logs on a RAID-10 array and different volume.
You need RAID-10 for logs. Raid-1 wont cut it.

thanks for the points.
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Author Comment

by:xyden
ID: 33422908
Would that I could, but the RAID10 is the large array for the db. So either separate logs and db on separate arrays or put on the same array. The exch calc indicated RAID1 should be ok for logs.
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Expert Comment

by:sunnyc7
ID: 33422927
separate arrays - for db and logs.
I'd go with that first.
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