I am currently rebuilding a new file server with Windows 2008 R2 and roughly 50 employees. My RAID controller is a PERC 6/i w/battery and 4 SATA 1TB hard drives. This will only be used as a file server. I would like to have a good balance between performance and reliability and I would also like to mention that I am the in-house tech and almost always on site.
Between RAID-5 and RAID-10, what would be the best overall choice for a file server? I am leaning towards going with RAID-10 since it will still give me enough disk space to meet my needs, but the downside is that I only have 4 drive bays so using a hot spare is out of the question with a RAID-10. But with a RAID-5 I could then utilize the hot spare option. Any preference on my particular scenario?
As far as the 'stripe' settings go, what would be best for the 'Element Size?' The default is set to 64KB so would that suffice? The default 'Read Policy' is set to 'No Read Ahead' but I have the options for either 'Read Ahead' or 'Adaptive Read Ahead' and I'm not sure which would be the best. And finally, should the 'Write Policy' be set to the default 'Write Back' or 'Write Through?'
As I mentioned I am always onsite and if I went with RAID-10 I would most likely order a 5th hard drive to have as a 'cold spare' if a drive failed in the RAID-10. Anybody have a preference since I can only use a total of 4 hard drives in the array?