Performance impact on downgrade from 15k SAS to 7.2k SAS/SATA

HI,

I am trying to expand the capacity of our exchange server, right now it is running on Raid 1

Fujitsu MBA3147RC 147GB 15000 RPM 16MB Cache Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

I would like to change it to either

Seagate Constellation ES 1 TB 7200RPM 6 Gb/s SAS 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch Internal Bare Drive (ST1000NM0001)

or

WD Red 1 TB NAS Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, SATA III, 64 MB Cache - WD10EFRX

I am running these on old hardware so it's only capable of 3GB/s, which is why I am not getting high end SAS drives.  

Capacity wise it is more than what I need, I am just wondering what the performance impact will be. These drives are slower but I am wondering if it will be more than enough to handle an exchange server of 50~ users. Any advice or alternative suggestion would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
WangstaaAsked:
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
What model server and RAID controller are we working with here?  MOST controllers will not allow you to mix SAS and SATA in an array, so you would be doing a full backup/restore to move to SATA drives ... just as a head's up.

If you have the available slots, you might consider adding drives and converting to a RAID 5 or 6 (most controllers support this on the fly) ... that would increase your capacity, while keeping you in SAS drives - and preventing the need for a full backup/restore.  Sure, there is a performance hit with RAID 5 and 6, but it won't be as severe as going to 7200RPM SATA drives.
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WangstaaAuthor Commented:
for the exchange servers I am planning, they are using PowerEdge 1950 III, so only 2 slots and Perc 5/6i cards. I would not be mixing SATA/SAS cards, I would be replacing them completely.

The exchange servers are not super busy, idling at 10mb/s most of the time, my assumption is that there would be no performance impact since the existing hard drives are not being stressed at all.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
If you plan to do a complete backup/restore, then there shouldn't be an issue - they'll take both types of drives.

I'd get the Seagate drives though over the WD ... they are more likely to work on the PERC's without issue than the WD Red.
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WangstaaAuthor Commented:
Can you confirm my assumption in terms of close to zero performance impact because of the lack of activity?
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
There should be negligible performance loss at 10Mb/s ... just keep in mind that it is not the maximum throughput that is most important - the higher latency and seek time of the slower rotation will affect the number of transactions per second the disks can handle, too.  50 isn't necessarily a lot of users, but it depends on how it's used - and if you have more than one server serving those users, then I definitely can't see how the slower speed will have much of an effect.
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WangstaaAuthor Commented:
Yup, I have 2 exchange server cluster. So this would be good, thanks.
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