I have a file server running Windows Server 2008 R2 x64. (It is a Dell PowerEdge R200, if you are curious.) It has two identical 2 TB SATA hard drives using the server's built-in drive controller.
Within Windows, the drives are configured as dynamic disks and are broken into a mirrored system volume of approximately 500 GB and a striped data volume of approximately 3 TB (1.5 TB from each drive). This is all being done at the software level. There is no hardware RAID solution in this server.
I am trying to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of this machine that is possible within the limitations of the current hardware configuration. (I know that going hardware RAID with SCSI/SAS drives would be a much better choice, but that's not going to happen for the time being.) So my question is how you would evaluate the way the volumes are set up now, and what might be better for performance.
Should the mirror of the system volume be broken and it used as a simple or spanned volume? Is striping the best choice for the data volume? Understand that redundancy and fault tolerance are not the goals here. Simply the best possible performance. As I said, this is a file server, so reading and writing files are its primary functions.