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Raid Configuration new server.

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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello and thank you for reading. I expect that you find yourself in perfect condition while reading my question.

I need to purchase two new server and need help figuring out what types of raids and controller cards to use.

One server will do only exchange 2010 and the other will be the DC, FS, PS. We do not have any robust application running on the server. I figured that exchange 2010 will work harder then the file server.

I i'm not certain on what type of controller card/raid/hd's I should use for each of the servers. Performance and redundancy is key.  

Below are the choices I have.
Your time and expertise is always appreciated.
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With something like your setup I would probably go with a RAID 5 and get one extra drive more than you plan on using and have this extra drive configured as a hot spare.  

If you only need 3 drives get the 4th configured as a hot spare.  You can have Dell do this or you can configure this from OMSA when you get your server.  

You will have redundancy with this and the ability for more than one drive to fail in your array with the hot spare configured.
RAID0 offers no redundancy it just spans the drives to make one large volume.

Use the SAS 6ir controller this will allow for redundancy.  But you have to make sure you have enough hard drives to handle your RAID configuration.  My suggestion for all servers is to separate your OS from  your data.  I have found that using two drives for the OS in a RAID1 (mirror) configuration in the case one of the drives goes bad you could always boot from the other drive.

Then as far as your data array (exchange) goes I would use RAID5.  Now RAID5 requires at minimum 3 drives. Secondly you need to take into consideration of your storage needs.  For example if you used 3 250gb drives to create a RAID5 array one of those drives will be used for striping so in this case you will only have 500GB of disk space because of the drives will be used to manage the RAID.  In another example if you had 4 250gb drives in a RAID5 array you would have 750GB of space on the drive/array.
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Top Expert 2010
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kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer

How price sensitive are you? How many users? I would consider using RAID 1 for the Exchange Server and RAID 1 for the other server if that provides enough capacity and performance. Microsoft claims that you can run Exchange 2010 on SATA JBOD, so RAID 1 will be able to provide enough IOPS, particularly if your user count is in the hundreds not thousands. A RAID 5 offers inferior protection over RAID 1. With RAID 1 you don't have to worry about degraded performace with a drive failure, and the rebuild time is a lot better in case a drive does fail. The more drives you have, the greater the liklihood that you will have a failed drive at any given point in time. I would go for 7.2K near-line SAS over 7.2K SATA drives because of the superior SAS controller logic.


Thank you very much to all of you for your input
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