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RAID configuration recomendations for new servers

Posted on 2014-03-08
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Last Modified: 2014-03-11
I am converting from a single PowerEdge 2800 server that hosts Active Directory and SQL Server 2008 to a two server configuration with one acting as an Active Directory server and the other one as a SQL 2012 server. Currently there are only 15 workstations that connect to the SQL server which hosts an Impromed Infinity database.

The new SQL server is a PowerEdge R510 with the following specs:

Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
(x8) 300GB 15K RPM SAS 6Gbps 3.5in drives
PERC H700 Integrated RAID Controller, 512MB Cache
16GB of RAM
(x2) Intel XeonE5620 2.4Ghz, 12M Cache,Turbo, HT, 1066MHz

The new AD server is a PowerEdge R420 with the following specs:

Windows Server 2012 Standard
(x8) 300GB 10K RPM SAS 6Gbps 2.5in
PERC H710 Integrated RAID Controller, 512MB NV Cache
16GB of RAM
Intel Xeon E5-2430 2.20GHz, 15M Cache

My question is what do you recommend for RAID configurations for the new AD server and SQL Server?  The new AD server will also act as a file share and will be hosting AD, DHCP, DNS, and an antivirus suite. The SQL server will be dedicated for SQL Server 2012.

Also any recommendations for the best way to configure SQL server 2012 with these hardware specs? Most of the configuration guides I see are for large enterprise installations.
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Question by:BlackDogSC
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dlethe earned 300 total points
ID: 39914982
For optimal performance
1x2 disk RAID1 for the O/S
1x2 disk RAID1 for tempdb/scratch table space
1x4disk RAID10 for everything else

Be sure to configure NTFS for 64KB chunk size on the RAID10, defaults elsewhere.

(More RAM would have been much better)
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by:BlackDogSC
ID: 39915005
Thank you dlethe,

How much RAM would you recommend? Also any recommendations for the AD server as far as RAID config?
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by:dlethe
ID: 39915041
More RAM = better SQL performance for most apps.  I know people who put in 512GB of RAM and it isn't enough.    If you want performance, particularly write performance, then RAID1 is way to go.  If you are read intensive, then I'd go with a 6-drive RAID6 for the data RAID1 for the O/S.    If performance isn't satisfactory, you can backup and convert the RAID6 to a RAID10.  

But RAID6 gives you 2 parity drives so you are much less likely to risk data loss in event of drive failure.
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 200 total points
ID: 39915554
Both servers look to be overkill for 15 users.

For ImproMed Infinity I presume that X-ray images are stored on the same box rather than being linked to the general fileserver so that would imply you want a reasonable amount of data space. Apart from images the other data isn't likely to be very big. I wouldn't expect it to be write intensive since the vets will refer to patient history a lot more often than they update it.

That means that transaction log is not going to be very large nor need many IOPS so I would put the OS, applications and transaction log on a pair of 300GB disks and use the other 6 for the database and files Low write requirements imply RAID 6 for this but that doesn't mean you don't have to back the data up as well.

For the AD server/general fileserver I'd just use one logical disk over all 8 drives, Probably RAID 10 but maybe RAID 6 if you need the space.
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by:Seth Simmons
ID: 39916587
the sql server may not be overkill depending on the size of your database; 16gb seems reasonable.  i do agree your domain controller has way too much disk space.  you can get away with 2 300gb drives in a raid 1 and 8gb ram which is plenty for just ADDS roles and those network services.  don't recommend hosting an anti-virus suite on a domain controller
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by:arnold
ID: 39916589
The DC which you should when possible have two.
Straight raid 1 wth 4-8GB is more than enough.
Is/was virtualization considered?

Two VMs as Dcs 40GB per VM is more than enough, but andyalder pointed what you might be using, so adjusting the two VMS to include space for one to function  as a fileservers in a DFS failover configuration and then have a VM for the sql server and another as a fileserver.
The rest of the space could be ...

If you are using the express version of the database, ........
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Author Comment

by:BlackDogSC
ID: 39920531
Thank you everyone for your help. This is becoming quite informative, and there is definately more than one way we can go here. I am not well versed with VMs, but it had crossed my mind as I see them used more and more. I will need to learn more about VMs though before I delve into them.

We are going to use SQL Server 2012 Standard edition. We may end up hosting a second database so we decided to go with standard instead of a runtime version of sql.

Our digital radio-graphs are currently stored on a dedicated PACS server which is backed up to a specialized cloud service incrementally. However we will start receiving all of our lab work digitally and any faxes we receive will also be coming in over a fax card into the DC and that will start to take up disk space.

And in case anyone was wondering, currently we backup to local ioSafe SoloPro's and perform offsite backups.

Thank you again for everyone's help. I am going to close this question although I may post another one concerning VMs.
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