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Configuration of servers for sql server

We currently have a SAN with a combination of SATA drives and fast fibre channel disks.  We have 4 host 2950 servers as hosts for virtual servers using vmware.

Our SQL servers are having performance issues and i wondered how people would configure their SQL servers.  We have a combination of heavy read and heavy write databases.

I have read you should not virtualize your SQL servers and other documents that you should.

What configuration should I use and should they be virtual or physical (my boss has decided that RAID 10 is not needed and RAID 5 is adequate because we are only a college)
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WNottsC
Asked:
WNottsC
1 Solution
 
DavidCommented:
Well, since your knucklehead boss thinks  you are only a college so you don't need performance, then you should start by minimizing the amount of I/O you perform.

Since SQL Server does 64KB I/Os, you better make sure your RAID is configured for optimum IOPs using 64KB I/O size. Chances are that it is not.

You should really be using RAID1 for I/O intensive, and write intensive things like journals, temporary/scratch data space and log files.  Perhaps your boss will let you do that.  If not, maybe buy a small SSD?  For a few hundred bucks you can get a SSD that can maintain 20-30,000 RANDOM I/Os per second.   Use that for scratch table space and your performance problems may be a thing of the past.
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OxygenITSolutionsCommented:
I would install Windows on two of the servers and cluster them. I have always found SQL performs better when installed Natively than when installed as virtual servers. You can use VMWare for your test/DR environment on the other servers.
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WNottsCAuthor Commented:
at the moment I have no control over the way the SAN is configured.  It has two Raid 5 volumes one I am using for data and one I am using for logs with the temp and OS going on a raid 1 drive.

I have been looking at some of the dell MD3200 storage devices with 2 or 3 servers in a cluster at the front end.  Can anyone give any suggestions as to configuration or alternatives.

My company do not want to spend alot, see RAID 5 being ok,  but we are getting speed issues with some of our database applications and time outs
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
RAID 5 is cheaper?

Let's assume you get 200 IOPS per disk (that's a little high but sums are easier):-

10 disks in RAID gives 1800 IOPS read or 500 IOPS write, average 1150 assuming 50:50
10 disks in RAID 10 gives 2000 IOPS read or 1000 IOPS write, average 1500 assuming 50:50

So for the same price you can get 1150 IOPS with RAID 5 or 1500 IOPS with RAID 10, in other words as far as speed is concerned RAID 10 is cheaper. dmittedly these are classroom sums but real world experience is similar.

As far as SAN Vs DAS you get more bang per buck with DAS, you can't cluster DAS but if you want high availability then you can use log shipping which is built into SQL anyway.

 Bear in mind that you can get away with slow SATA disks for transaction logs as long as they are dedicated, they're pretty good at sequential access, just pants for random access.
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