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Logical drives on RAID array

Posted on 2014-02-18
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Last Modified: 2014-02-18
I am researching a small office server configuration that will be used primarily for software development. I am replacing an older non-RAID system with a hardware RAID capable server running MS Server 2008 R2 and I am considering a 4x1TB RAID 10 configuration.

My question is this: once the RAID array is built can I interact with the array as if it was one physical disk ? (i.e create logical drives, etc.) I usually create a couple of logical drives for organizational purposes and I was hoping I would still have that option within the RAID array.
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Question by:kkamm
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39867720
If you are referring to partitions then yes. The RAID controller will present the array as one logical disk, and you can manage that disk just like you would a physical disk, including multiple partitions. If you misuse the term logical drive, especially when discussing RAID, you can inject confusion.
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dlethe earned 500 total points
ID: 39867762
Yes, that is the point.  But if this is purely for development, then I suggest going with two pairs of disks, each RAID1.  Give the developers a pair of 15K RPM SAS drives, (The D drive) so they get snappy response for compiles and day to day activity, and to protect their code from the O/S RAID1.

If you are a seasoned sysadmin you know that you are one patch away from screwing up the C drive.

If the developers have their other D drive, then even if your system becomes unbeatable, you could still boot the system to a DVD drive and they could get their code from the D drive no matter what.
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by:kkamm
ID: 39867809
>>If you are a seasoned sysadmin you know that you are one patch away from screwing up the C drive.

Yeah, that had occurred to me. RAID 10 would address physical failures but not Microsoft failures. Our production server has the OS on one RAID port (RAID 1) and the SQL data on a separate port (RAID5). I was trying to keep things simple on the dev server but I see your point.

So...

Drive C:  2 disks mirrored on separate RAID port = OS and Apps
Drive D: 2 disks mirrored on separate RAID port = Data
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by:dlethe
ID: 39867817
Much better.  This way the developers have a way to get their data if/when the O/S is hosed.
Since you are also doing SQL, then be sure to set the developer's drive so NTFS is 64KB, and make a few other settings to tune I/O better for their use. Maybe even give them a much larger trash can and faster, better disks.
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Author Closing Comment

by:kkamm
ID: 39867843
Thanks for the input. That is a better configuration than what I was planning.
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