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Server Raid & HDD's

Posted on 2012-09-03
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Last Modified: 2012-09-12
Hi Guys,

I would just like to find out what is the best and most cost effective Raid config to implement and maintain? And what are the sensable hard drives to go with. SATA or SAS or other?
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Question by:GECs36711
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by:Kruno Džoić
ID: 38360880
For what purpose?

SQL database, file server...

I prefer 6HDD's  ( SAS - 15.000RPM )for database, 2 in mirror for OS, and 2 for data, 2 for log all in mirror.

For Exchange I use RAID 10 ( SAS - 15.000RPM )

For File server RAID 5 ( SATA on 10.000RPM )
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by:Sushil Sonawane
ID: 38360894
You can configure RAID 1 or RAID 5.

RAID 1 for OS and RAID 5 for log and data storage.

Refer below link to understand RAID.

(http://www.prepressure.com/library/technology/raid)

Please refer below link comparing between SAS and SATA

(http://www.networkworld.com/newsletters/2004/0906stor2.html)
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by:David
ID: 38360898
Look,  you get what you pay for.  If all you care about is price, the buy used fibre channel storage.

As for SAS vs SATA, SAS is better on all metrics except for $/GB.  The most cost-effective between the two is a pair of mirrored SATA disks using host-based RAID1 if and only if your capacity requirements are in the 2-3GB range, and your performance requirements can be met by two drives in a RAID1.

Now if you will be kind enough to add some constraints, like I/O requirements; capacity; and desired availability/redundancy; then a more specific answer can be given.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38360917
Incomplete information.  There is no single "best and most cost effective Raid config" for all circumstances or there wouldn't be so many options.  It depends largely on what your requirements are.  What kind of system are you building?  Database?  File/Print server?  Video Editing station?  What?  And how many users will access data simultaneously.
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by:GECs36711
ID: 38360927
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the responses.
Basically the company is wanting to replace there server Which is Currently:
-File Server (100GB worth not a lot.)
-DC
-Runs Applications such as Pastel and WSUS so not to intense.
-Currently Runs RAID 1
Obviously something that'll see them through a couple of years. I want it to run Server 2012 standard.
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David earned 2000 total points
ID: 38360944
You don't need much, so Just get 2 SSDs and software RAID1.  This will be both highly reliable, and profoundly fast.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38360946
Are they complaining about disk performance or more generically, "it's slow when I access files on the server"?  There are a number of possible reasons for this and it depends on the number of users, but I'd probably go with a RAID 1 again.  I might get 10 or 15K RPM SAS drives to increase performance, but it really depends on the performance of the existing server (if the existing server is just old and time to be replaced, then performance isn't an issue and you can "cheap out" on the drives on a new server (maybe get a third to designate as a hot spare).
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by:pgm554
ID: 38361010
2012 will come with a "new" version of software RAID that will allow you to create storage pools without the need for a RAID hardware controller.

See :

http://4sysops.com/archives/resilient-file-system-refs-in-windows-server-2012/
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by:David
ID: 38361150
REFS doesn't support compression, quotas, extended permissions, encryption, and it still isn't even bootable.  But they say your data is safer.   (So that would mean, what .. it isn't safe with NTFS??)

Nice try MSFT.
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by:pgm554
ID: 38361234
Novell has had storage pools with NSS for a very long ,and along comes M$ and reinvents the wheel by saying look what we've done!

Novell over the years has had such great technology,but as the saying goes,they couldn't sell ice cream in the desert.

Superior directory services (you could partition the directory database for years before AD could).

Want to add a lower level DS or machine to an Edir tree,no problem.
M$,you need to upgrade(buy) new software

Clustering was simple,robust and could scale way beyond anything M$ has even now.
Try going beyond 8 nodes on M$ clustering.

Virus attacks on Netware?
Name a major equivalent security breach like Nimda and such.

"I love you" took down Exchange servers all over the world
Groupwise was impervious.

Easy licensing.
Buy a headcount license of 100 and it didn't matter how many physical file servers you put up ,as the user count was licensed in the tree,not to physical server.

No fr!gging product activation if you changed a NIC or added RAM!

Sorry to rant,but sometimes the "good enough" mindset of the Microsoft crowd just makes me want to spit.
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by:David
ID: 38361418
Really, now compare this to ZFS, which is where MSFT would LIKE to be.  ZFS's host-based RAID is the foundation of 50-100PB cloud providers.  It also lets you combine SSDs in the same storage pool for cache and/or transaction logs so that on writes, it automatically puts it safely in a mirrored SSD pool for speed, then migrates it to slower mechanical drives.

But best of all, it is a flush on write so data integrity goes way beyond even what hardware-based controllers with NVRAM and battery backup can do.   When data has to be re-written, it actually writes the replacement data somewhere else, never on top of the record being "re-written".  Only until AFTER it gets confirmation the new data has safely been flushed to media, does it mark the original blocks as being free for other use.  

Anyway, enough on MSFT.  They can't ever implement all the innovations by Solaris + ZFS, because of all the patents Solaris got for figuring this stuff out so many years ago.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38361474
So we're ranting about Microsoft?  Would be nice if you kept a few things in perspective... (I never used Netware, so I can't argue some of your points... But I would like to point out a couple of things:

1. Microsoft crushed Novell before malware become a serious economic enterprise.  Further, Novell, never made a workstation OS.  If they did, they could likely have been just as affected by the 10 year old viruses you mentioned (could you be a little more current?)

2. Easy licensing.  Microsoft hasn't licensed per server in 10 years.  Even then, you COULD license per Seat which seems to be exactly what you're talking about.  What you call difficult can be more flexible as well.  It's all dependent on your perspective.  Is there confusion?  ABSOLUTELY.  But you really think Novell would have remained as easy?  And Microsoft has done some nice things with licensing that simply didn't exist in the days with Novell.  For example, could you buy one one license and run an unlimited number of virtual machines? Or even one license and run TWO virtual machines?  And what about socket licensing... as opposed to companies like Oracle that license PER CORE, Microsoft has ALWAYS licensed per socket.  Who knows what Novell would have licensed by...

3. No idea what you're talking about when you say product activation was required upon changing a NIC or RAM. I've changed RAM in DOZENS of systems and never remember a SINGLE INSTANCE of having to re-activate.  I've also added hardware to dozens of systems - servers, workstations - RAM, Drives, NICs, Graphics Cards, and RARELY had to re-activate and when I did, it was as simply as a couple of clicks.  By now, the way every other product is, do you really think Novell (if they still existed) wouldn't require activation?  And if they did, which do you think they would use - one that seems to rarely have issues, like Microsoft's model... or one that redefines draconian, like Adobe's model?
No fr!gging product activation if you changed a NIC or added RAM!
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by:pgm554
ID: 38361989
Been there,done that with product activation by adding a NIC.
More than once or I wouldn't have said it.

Had an SBS that died and reinstalled from backup.SBS has been activated too many times(once in a year),can't activate on line,so call MS.
Wait 20 minutes to key in a code.

Had a service pack I had to uninstall from SBS 2003,it goes into you need to activate server again and won't let me log in.

Novell had there own SBS that allowed for 5 physical servers (and a 2 node cluster to boot )using Groupwise.
100 user limit.
No difference in cal's (device cal or user cal)

MS tried that ,but priced it so out of reach,that they discontinued it in the last year or two.

MS relented and gave you one extra server in SBS 2008,but you still got that FSMO thing..

If you've ever used Netware back in the day,here is a pain point that I had with NT 4,need to Ghost image to another box for DR?
Slightly different HAL gives you a BSOD and you have to install from scratch,then restore from tape,about 2 or 3 hours if you have a lot of data.
Some times you could get around that by renaming the new driver the same as the old one.
But still very involved.

Do that with Netware,all you need do is load correct driver from floppy and you're back up and running.
About 5 minutes of work.
Never had to worry about product activation or wrong key(OEM.enterprise license)and you don't have the correct media,tough luck.
With Netware,you installed license key in tree,no S/N ,no special media requirements.

All this was back in the mid 90's

Remember the less required boot mantra from MS with every new OS release?
When was the last time on patch Tuesday you didn't have to reboot?
I can't remember.

With Netware that was actually true,and not hype.

Novell's own worst enemy was Novell.
Superior products,well ahead of their time,that were extremely stable and secure,but as the joke goes,they couldn't sell ice cream in the Sahara.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38362264
Sorry, but I'd have to question what you're doing.  I work ALMOST exclusively with Windows... have for years.  I don't see any of the problems your describing with any regularity... some of them I don't think I've ever seen... I also don't hear others talking about them.  Which suggests to me you're doing something wrong... or against best practices.  In In 18 years professionally, I think I may have called MS for activation twice - while working on HUNDREDS if not quite possibly thousands of total systems since Microsoft started requiring activation.  And I do plenty of upgrades to systems, adding RAM - even added a NIC to a system running XP about a year and a half ago.  No re-activation issues.  The media thing has been somewhat straightened out starting with 2008/Vista - as has the bare metal recovery.  Maybe your luck with Microsoft is as good as my luck with Symantec.
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Author Comment

by:GECs36711
ID: 38362554
@dlethe
REFS doesn't support compression, quotas, extended permissions, encryption, and it still isn't even bootable?
Is that not the new File System that 2012 has? If so its concerning.

@Leeu
There's hasn't been complaints but i can see that the access times have decreased a bit.

RAID1 sounds like the plan.

Thanks Guys for all your Responses, all of it really does go a long way.
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by:David
ID: 38363352
Yes, GECs36711 - those comments I made were about the new FS in Win2012.
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Author Comment

by:GECs36711
ID: 38364222
When will they make provision for all of those outstanding features?
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by:David
ID: 38364302
You'll have to ask MSFT, and then judge whether or not that information is reliable. Just remember if you need a lot of storage, and such features are desirable, you can get all of that today, for free, if you boot one of the open versions of solaris on the hardware.  (Plus it also has de-duplication, and all of the features can be INSTANTLY turned on/off for a directory within the pool).   You can even have it do this for an iSCSI target or apple time machine virtual drive, or even a virtual disk that you host with vmware or something else.

If you need all this today, you don't have to wait for MSFT.
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