SBS 2008 Partitioning Question New Install

We have purchased a Dell T410 with:
8gb Memory
Intel Xeon E5620 2.4 Ghz 12M Cache Single Processor
Perc 6i SAS Raid Controller
Raid1/ Raid1 for Perc/SAS 6ir Perc h200/h700 controller
(2) 1Terrabyte 7.2 rpm Sata 3.5 Hot Plug Hard drives

We have approx 8 users.

The software is SBS2008 Premium

My Question is about partitioning the drives.
How should I partition it for the OS and for Data
We will use exchange for some in house email and public calendars.
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Larry Struckmeyer MVPConnect With a Mentor Commented:
SBS Premium requires two servers, or hyper V and two VHD's.  You will need more RAM to go down this route.

Certainly you should put those 2 drives in RAID1, then partition them.  Better to have two smaller drives in RAID1 for the System.  Still better to have another drive for the page file, but this is unnecessary refinement.  Partion them to keep the user data from filling up the system partition.

One the SBS is installed, use the Wizards to move the user data to other partitions.

For the basic install.... System or C = 150 GB.  You can use less, but this is a proven number.
For Data = as much of the rest as you think you will need.

Options:  50-100 GB or so for WSUS data.  XX GB or so for downloads and other items you don't care to backup.  

Since you only have one set of spindles, there is no point to separating the exchange logs.
Sikhumbuzo NtsadaSenior IT TechnicianCommented:
I would separate my installation drive from the data drive.
Most server come with two small hard drives that are already mirrored, and a separate raid for data.
emumasterAuthor Commented:
The work will be left up to me so, I'm pretty sure the drives aren't mirrored yet.
Also I'm not sure the about internal space for a 3rd  drive.

I need an answer more defined.
Like how big a space for the os?
How about the data size?
Doesn't exchange do some writing out (journal or something), so how do I handle that.
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naughtynatConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Unless you can purchase more hdd, then just setup as raid 1 mirror.

Partition hdd as follows
C - 100GB operating system
S - 20GB this is for swap file and is the partition directly after C
L - 500GB data partition
Q - last 150GB data for non critical stuff that you done need backed up. I usually redirect peoples music and video folders to this as well as storing ISO images of cds that I use

You may ask why there is some data between L & Q and that just makes it easier to resize partitions later.

I usually leave exchange on C. if you have large email requirements then usually increase sbs OS partition to 120GB.


I think will have space for at least 4 drives.

Don't need to setup extra partition for log files with exchange 07 like in 03
emumasterAuthor Commented:

If i could purchase more (probably can), will I need another controller?
Say... i would purchase 2 500 gig drives for the os and swap files and then then leave the terrabytes drives for data.
Is this doable??
Sikhumbuzo NtsadaSenior IT TechnicianCommented:
My advise is do not install the operating system on the same drives as the data drives, if there is a crush you suffer big time.

Find out if there is an extra slot to put another drive there; then

You get the two(1 TB)  drives on a Raid say Raid 0/1 which ever you prefer.
It is important that the installation hard drives be mirrored for redundancy/ fault tolerance.

Then give all the space available for your Exchange.

emumasterAuthor Commented:

So are you saying i should purchase a single drive for the os and not use raid for it?
And then leave the (2) 1 terrabyte drives for data and leave them on the raid 1 controller?

emumasterAuthor Commented:
Ok.. let me back up..
I opened the case and looked at the invoice and they purchase 4 drives.
(2) 250 gig
(2) 1 terrabyte drives.
emumasterAuthor Commented:

For the second server, can it just be a standard pc  that i could configure as a server?
Keep in mind that we only have 8 users.
if not what configuration do I need?
Can you get SBS 2011 instead? It is based on Windows 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010 instead of Windows 2008 and Exchange 2007. You only have 8 users, so we probably aren't talking about a huge load here. A standard route with SBS Premium is to run Hyper-V on the hardware, and then SBS in a virtual machine and the SQL server in another VM. Windows 2008 R2 is a better virtualization platform, which is one of the reasons I ask about SBS 2011.

As for partitioning, I would virtualize, installing the parent partition OS on a 60 GB partition on the 1 TB drives. There would be another partition with the remaining space on the 1 TB drives and finally a 3rd higher performance partition on the 250 GB RAID 1 set.
A beauty of virtualizing your servers is that you can easily add drives to your servers, expand them, and move them to different physical spindles.

I don't know what the SBS minimum specs are, but my guess is 8 GB RAM because of Exchange. You do have 1 GB RAM per user, but if that isn't enough you can go to 12 GB on the host.
emumasterAuthor Commented:

I already purchased the SBS 2008.
Don't think the company will float for 2011.
I just talked to them and they said they will approve another server if I keep the cost under $200.00
So I think i will go the 2nd server route.

Anything else I should think of in regard to this?
Few things:

- just wondering why and what you are going to do with the second server?
- Cost of 2011 is quite a bit
- cost for new server - well I dont know what you are going to do with this?

If you have additional $$$, then maybe 4GB more RAM, as I would recommend always at least 12GB, and then additional HDD.

SBS 2008 Premium doesnt REQUIRE 2 servers, it gives you the ability to setup an SBS 2008 server and a Server 2008.

Again no point setting this up unless you have a good reason to do so.

If you are setting this up yourself, which it sounds like you are, I think that going down the hyper-v route is not the best way to learn and will probably cause you more hassles.
Larry Struckmeyer MVPCommented:
Not much of a server for $200.  I vote for putting the $200 into more RAM and using Hyper V on the base, SBS as one VM and Server as the other.  You have everything you need except enough RAM.

There are plenty of instructions on using HyperV, but you should practice several times until you feel comfortable before putting  it into production.
emumasterAuthor Commented:
Sorry, I meant to say $2000.00 not $200.00
emumasterAuthor Commented:

I understood the purpose of the 2nd server to be for SQL.
Thats why a 2nd server.
I know that Hyper V is a choice on the existing server, but I am not familiar with this and worry about installing and configuring Hyper V for the SQL

Knowing this , isn't the 2nd $2000.00 server ok then?
$2K is going to purchase fairly basic server. Well in Australia it will. Just the very basics.

Main thing with SQL is I/O, so most important thing is probably your HDD performance.

For 8 users, if not too heavy, then it might be okay on a T210, 3470 CPU, 8GB RAM.

Main thing is to get 10K or 15K SAS HDD. Even if it is 2x 147GB, this will probably be big enough if it is just running an SQL Accounting system. I dont know what sort of RAID you can get, but get the best you can. I only use the H700 but I dont think that will fit in your budget. Battery backed cache makes HUGE performance difference.

If you are in the USA maybe you can get all this I am not sure.

And yes would think to stay away from Hyper-V just now :)
I understand that you already purchased SBS 2008 Premium, but that's like ordering a PC and getting Windows Vista (seriously, Windows 2008 is the same code base). I would talk to Dell and see if you can ship you the current SBS 2011 software, even if you have to do a return/exchange. I am not suggesting that you go and repurchase, only that you try to get the current software.
You can try get Dell to do that but I don't like your chances, especially if thr software is oem which I would think it would be.

Sbs 2011 would be nice but not essential from looking at your requirements.
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