Fast search for sharepoint 2010 storage recommendation

Hello experts,

Environment needed to be installed:

2 FAST servers as follow:
1) Admin server, search query server and index server.
2) Search query and backup index server.

I am working to specify the hardware recommendation for server, My question is, what is the best recompilation storage for server ? my options is 3 RAID5 SAS and 4 RAID 10 SAS...
I can push to connect them in the SAN storage if it is really needed and can make a big different.

Around 15 million items will be indexed into the system.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Suliman Abu KharroubIT Consultant Asked:
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
The size of the index's is not a question it is the number of concurrent users that is the question
suggest 2 database servers (minimum) w/replication between them
plus the search query and index server
you may need 2 or more web servers load balanced.
I'm a hardware/software guy and not a DBA, perhaps a DBA could chime in with further recommendations.
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BigSchmuhCommented:
What would really makes a difference would be to use RAID1/10 SSD in your servers plus RAID 10 SAS for sequential usages (backup, logs) or to have enough RAM to avoid most read io access

With less than 5000 users, I would go with 2 physical servers to allow a synchonous spare to be available.
#1 : IIS with admin service, search query service and index service, MSSQL (active), backup
#2 : IIS with admin service (inactive), search query service and index service (inactive), MSSQL (replica), backup (inactive)
If #1 crash, you can restart in a 1 hour delay using #2

Server hw conf "In memory": 1U + 6x hot-swap 2,5" HDD
-Dual socket 192GB RAM in an "Enterprise" Win2008 R2 edition to support almost all operations without any physical io
-DAS storage using 6 SAS drives in RAID 10

Server hw conf "SSD PCIe": 1U + 6x hot-swap 2,5" HDD
-Dual socket with 32GB RAM in a "Standard" Win2008 R2 edition
-DAS storage using 1 single PCIe SSD and 6 SAS drives in RAID 10

Server hw conf "SSD": 1U + 6x hot-swap 2,5" HDD
-Dual socket with 32GB RAM in a "Standard" Win2008 R2 edition
-DAS storage using 2 SSD RAID 1 and 4 SAS drives in RAID 10
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Suliman Abu KharroubIT Consultant Author Commented:
Thank you  guys for your comments,

I have already 2 clustered MS SQL servers connected to a SAN storage. My question is only for the FAST server storage.

Sorry, seems that the question was not clear.... my inviroment is:

1. two clustered SQL server connected to SAN storage.
2. Sharepoint farm servers.
3. 2 FAST servers << this is where I am looking for >>

thanks again, much appreciated!
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BigSchmuhCommented:
I thought the "FAST index" database was to be handled by those 2 servers...I now assume they are running on your SQL cluster.

In that situation, you almost have no write activity on your 2 FAST servers and would really benefit from a SSD usage.

I'll try to summarize the performance gain for your "mostly read" scenario below:
SSD PCIe (OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB $710) > 4x SSD RAID 5 (Ocz Vertex 3 MaxIOPS 120GB $220) > 4x SSD RAID 10 > 4x SAS (Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 300GB $210) RAID 5 > 4x SAS RAID 10

I will go with the "SSD PCIe" solution as it is the cheapest one and you already have redundancy at FAST server and SQL levels !
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Suliman Abu KharroubIT Consultant Author Commented:
>>"I thought the "FAST index" database was to be handled by those 2 servers...I now assume they are running on your SQL cluster."

Sorry dear, I am new to the sharepoint world.

I have 2 clustered SQL servers, those servers holding the DBs which needed to be indexed by Fast search servers( the content source). I dont know where does the FAST server save the index for those DBs, is it in the FAST server or in the SQL (content source) ?  
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BigSchmuhCommented:
You can save your index database in any SQL instance...including the "indexed DATA" one.
It makes sense.

Now, if you plan to isolate the FAST services from the "indexed DATA" db, you can stay with my previous post.

Regarding SSD, the only real problem comes from all the server's BIG OEM (Dell, HP, etc) including superoverpriced SSD in their conf !
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Suliman Abu KharroubIT Consultant Author Commented:
mmmmmmm
I am confused now, my colleuge is telling me that fast server stores the indexed data as files on the hard disk not in SQL server but it stores its admin server config In SQL DBs. If that true my question is about this storage; raid1, raid10 or SAN ?
sorry for not being clear...

Thank you very much...
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BigSchmuhCommented:
If FAST "index files" writes aren't cached by a SQLServer, then you have to go with the SSD solution.

Server hw conf "SSD PCIe": 1U + 6x hot-swap 2,5" HDD
-Dual socket with 32GB RAM in a "Standard" Win2008 R2 edition
-DAS storage using 1 single PCIe SSD and 6 SAS drives in RAID 10
...OR...
Server hw conf "SSD": 1U + 6x hot-swap 2,5" HDD
-Dual socket with 32GB RAM in a "Standard" Win2008 R2 edition
-DAS storage using 2 SSD RAID 1 and 4 SAS drives in RAID 10

==> Install system/apps/FAST index files on the SSD and use the SAS array to store backups, logs and anything that isn't sensitive to performance
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Suliman Abu KharroubIT Consultant Author Commented:
I only have two options ( 3 RAID5 SAS or 4 RAID10 SAS ), I can push to have the server connected to the SAN storage. which one is the best please ?

thank you for sticking on this question that long!
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BigSchmuhCommented:
4 drives in Raid10 will deliver more stable performance than 3 drives Raid5

NB: this is a good opportunity to challenge this SAS constraint
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Suliman Abu KharroubIT Consultant Author Commented:
Thanks alot
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