Raid Level for Virtualized Exchange 2010 mailbox role

Posted on 2012-03-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-03-26
Hi experts, currently I have an IBM DS3400 storage with one hugh RAID 5 volume. I have the intention to virtualized Exchange 2010 mailbox server role for DAG using vsphere 5.0. I have about 100 mailboxes.  For best performance with respect to storage, should I add additional harddisks to the existing raid 5 volumes or create a totally seperate array (4 disks, RAID 5)  for better performance?

Currently, on my physical Exchange 2007 server, I'm using RAID 1 for OS, RAID 5 for DB and another RAID 1 for logs. For the virtualized Exchange 2010, what do I do? Just create 3 seperate LUN from the SAN array containing RAID 5 and attached to this virtual machine? Will the performance be affected?
Question by:totallypatrick
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LVL 126
ID: 37746489
I would create a RAID 10 Volume or LUN for your VMware Datastore.

Expert Comment

ID: 37746659
Depending on your environment. If it is a single server environment or you going to have a cluster.
Single server you should use raid 5 for data and raid 1 for log. If you use cluster advice is to place os on raid 1 and the rest as jbod as in exchange 2010 the io on the disk is much less then before.
So first design your exchange environment and then look what hardware you want to use for it.

Author Comment

ID: 37746937
Raid 10 would be the best but would it make a big diff in speed for exchange 2010?
Do i create a seperate array in my SAN storage for better performance or i can just use part of a single big array for it?
I know that raid 1 would be for os and so on for physical server but for virtual servers we can't really use thAT right? as all partitions are actually coming from a single raid5 or raid10 array in the San storage ? Correct me if i'm wrong as i'm still learning.
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Author Comment

ID: 37755748
I read that a single big array would cater for better performance as there's more disc in the RAID 5 array.

Also for Exchange 2010, we can actually create 3 seperate LUNS from the RAID 5 array and assigned it to the VM for better ROI?
LVL 126
ID: 37756087
Correct, more disks per Array (any array) would be better. But RAID 10 performs better than RAID 5.

Author Comment

ID: 37756122
Would 10 disks in a raid 5 array be faster then 4 disc in a RAID 10 array?
LVL 126

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 37756161
Very similar in read and write, if you do the calculations in IOPS.

RAID 5 just slightly more, but more disks, more spindles, more performance, more IOPS

Total IOPS = (DriveIOPS * #Drives) / (ReadRatio + (RAIDWritePenalty * WriteRatio))

Write Penality for RAID 5 is 4, RAID 10 is 2.

As you already have RAID 5, I would just add them into the set.

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