Number of HD for Exchange Server and SAS vs SATA

tomcurrier used Ask the Experts™
I want to move my Exchange from an older box to a newer box.  I have 60 users with about half in remote offices with easy access to Exchange through a subnet.

My new box is an HP Proliant DL180 G6.  It came with two 146 GB SAS drives.  I'll probably go from Server 2003/Exchange 2003 to Server 2008/Exchange 2008 since I have the software.  My current Exchange Information Store totals only about 35 GB.  I think the new hardware is more than adequate.

My question is how many more HD should I buy.  I'm thinking about 4 more if I buy the SAS 146 GB, but that would cost me about $1200.  I've heard I should separate the OS, the logging, and the rest of the Exchange on different hard drives.  Although we have done just fine for years with only 3 HD in a RAID.  We are pretty small and I don't want to be unnecessarily fancy with this new box, but I certainly want something reliable, stable, and reasonably quick.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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I wouldn't be overly concerned with putting the OS, logs, and exchange on 3 different physical sets of drives in your situation.  You have plenty of hardware (assuming the DL180 has at least 8GB?) to run a single information store of 35GB.  I think 4 146GB drives in a RAID 5 with hotspare would be efficient.  It would give you ~275 GB of usable space, more than enough considering ~60 for OS, ~80 for Logs, ~135 for Exchange (gives you plenty of space for an offline defrag).  

Of course if you want to spend the big bucks you can always put in 6 drives and run 3 x Raid 1 setups for OS, logs, Exchange... again, it's a bit excessive for 1 store.
RAID 10 the drives all you need is 4 in total, 5 if you wnat a hot spare. It'll give you loads of redundnacy and will perform quicker than your RAID5, once you have created yoru array craete your partitions. Put your OS on you rprimary partition and your Exchange DB on the other C: and D: for instance.
The benefit of RAID 10 here is more space 292 Gb and it's more redundant and faster. BUt RAID 5 would work,
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RAID 10 would not yield more space, it would actually take away a drives worth of space if you look at it that way.

RAID 5:  3 drives, ~275 usable
RAID 10: 4 drives ~290 usable

There would be a performance gain with RAID 10, it's really a question of how much the company is willing to invest in the project.
I'm sorry I was reading  your commenbt you said 275Gb I ddin't bother doing teh calculation. TBH space isn't the issue, it's performance and more importantly IMHO redundancy.


Guys, this was quite helpful.  Thank you.  It even spurred me to learn the difference between RAID 5 and 10 !!

It's possible the DL 180 has only 4 GIG memory, not 8.  I'll have to check.  However, we have been running ES with only 1 GIG memory, so hopefully 4 will work ok for us??  Obviously, I can easily add more if really needed.

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