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Best advice for storing OS and Data on SAN

Posted on 2010-11-25
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hello Guys,

We have recently bought a DELL MD3200i SAN box with three Dell Host Servers.  We are going to setup a fully Virtualized network consisting of 6 Servers.

I needed some advice on where to put OS and DATA.  Data wise we need about 1.8TB usable and for OS am thinking of allocating about 100GB per Server.  I'm thinking of setting up two Raids on SAN:
1. Raid1 with 2 x 1TB NearLine SAS 7.2k 3.5" HD  = 1TB Usable Space
2. Raid5 with 5 x 450GB SAS 15k 3.5" HD = 1.8TB Usable Space

Would it be wise to use Raid 1 to store OSs for 6 servers and more in the future and use Raid 5 to store all users data, Exchange Mailboxes Data, Sharepoint Data etc...?

Some advice would be really appreciated!

Thanks
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Question by:fais79
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louisreeves earned 250 total points
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I am answering this question from the exchange perspective. I have included a link for the storage configuration for excahnge 2010. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee832792.aspx

While your design is fine for a VMWARE setup, Exchange is a different affair. If you have less then 25 users and less then 100 mails a then maybe you can getaway with the whole Exchange organization being virtualized. However, At minimum, you need to have the Mail box server as a physical box.

In terms of raid, the 2010 reccomendation is raid 1 for logs, and raid 5 for data. I would place the Database, and logs on different spindles. Here is the recomendations per microsoft:

http://download.microsoft.com/.../exchange%202010_sample_admin_pocket_consultant.pdf

I like your design, I would just do the Exchange as at least 1 mailbox serve, and one phisical box as the CAS server. . The only virtualized servers we use in my group is the CAS role. However, at minimum, the Mailbox server should be a physical box. then you have 4 servers for your Virtualized organization, and you wont have to call into support on an unsupported Exchange organization.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719.aspx
Actually, it looks like a virtual mail server is ok for 2010. I am still doing 2007. If you are doing 2007 exchange, I would look at the requitments. I hope this helps

On drives, Look at the drive matrix. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee832792.aspx
. OS Should always be raid 1. Data is raid 5 or 10.

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by:Tomunique
Tomunique earned 250 total points
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I'm answering this from a more generic perspective.

We have a much larger environment, but the concepts carry through. (We're also Unix, not windows, but again, this is more a SAN comment).

When considering virtualizing the OS, ask yourself, "what piece of software initializes the fiber-card device drivers, when your OS is pinning on the SAN, behind those cards?".

We boot our virtualization host software from internal disk.  This permits loading of the HDLM (hitachi), or Power-path (EMC) vendor SAN specific drivers, before we start trying to talk to those devices.
I have no idea about DELL and what, if anything they provide.  The concept holds.

Second most important reason to boot from internal disk.
Debugging.
While starting out, everything may run great... but, 1 day...  How do you debug the situation when 1 of your OS luns isn't checking in?  Your OS won't boot, and you have NO OS to use to debug the situation.

We have ~50 guests on each of our physical boxes.  Our virtualization is done in the firmware (IBM i and p series).  We run two virtualization "hosts" (VIO) per piece of hardware (p570), minimum).
so we boot our VIO servers from internal storage, all the guests boot from SAN.
I know this isn't your environment, but the concepts are OS agnostic.

Tom
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