Advise on Best Drive Setup

Hi Everyone,

I am looking for some opinions

I have a custoemr that i am building a upgrade server for

They are an accounting firm with about 15 people

The currently have:

1 x x3550 Phy Server with Windows 2008 x64 2 x 74gb 15K (RAID 1) working as Terminal Server
1 x x3650 Virt Server with ESXi 5.0 with 2 x 450GB SAS 15k (RAID 1) and 2 x 1TB SATA 7200 (RAID 1) with
-> 1 x VM - Windows 2008 32bit with AD & SQL Server and then just as a File server with some Data on it (SAS Drive)
-> 1 x VM - Windows 2003 SBS with AD and Exchnage and SBS Services that run, DHCP etc (SAS Drives)
-> 2 x VM - Openfiler NAS, 1 with Data on it, and i with SUS Server on it (SATA Dirves)
-> 1 x VM - Windows XP, used for older program that still needs to run (SATA Drives)

I am providing them with a x3650 M2 and going to upgrade them to run ESXi 5.1 and put:
2 x Windows 2012 Std Server (1 as TS & 1 As File Server - SQL) - SQL not very big maybe 5Gb and not very busy at moment anyway.
Moving them to Office 365 for the Exchange and decommissioning there 2003 SBS
The NAS will move there data to the File Srver - SQL server)

I need an opinion on Drive Config

I Want to get to about 1.6TB

I am thinking of either using RAID 1 or RAID 5 which is where i am stuck with best opion

TS i could use 2 x 300GB 15K
FileServer/SQL use 2 x 300GB 15K
and then put 2 x 1TB SATA in the server for archiving. (although i cant see 1TB on serverproven but i am still sure some 1TB SATA from Hitachi or WD or something would work, really njust for Backups and non Production stuff

or should i go Raid 5 and 3 x 300GB still getting the 600GB but in Raid 5

Thanks Adam
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
What performance do you desire?

What resilience do you want? RAID5 is not suitable in an enterprise environment, with only 1 disk failure. Switch to RAID 6.

SATA disks in a VMware vSphere environment will always suffer from poor performance and don't offer good performance, and should be avoided!

If you want the fastest performance, I would select SAS 15K disks in RAID 10.

If you require storage space, I would opt for RAID 6.

The More disks the better in the same RAID set.

More Disks = More Spindles = More IOPS = More Performance!

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cdsausAuthor Commented:
I was thinking and sorry i forgot to put this in, that i would put a hotspare in the raid 5 setup

Does Raid 6 mean Hotspare not as Critical ?

Have you considered a RAID 10 with enterprise-class SSD?  That will smoke any RAID using conventional hard drives.  If you have the money for them, I would definitely recommend considering from the following:
Acronis True Image 2019 just released!

Create a reliable backup. Make sure you always have dependable copies of your data so you can restore your entire system or individual files.

cdsausAuthor Commented:
Money is sort of an issue not an absolute but not go crazy

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
RAID6 can withstand, two disk failures.

RAID5 can only withstand one disk failure, and problem is with disks of the same age/same batch, when a disk fails, there is a high probability, of another disk failure, especially when you insert a new disk, which will them rebuild the RAID set, which is high disk I/O which stresses the older disks, if you get a failure, when rebuild - game over - all data is lost.

and as for SSDs in RAID 10, bad idea, it will give poor performance!

It's been done, many times, on EE, and EE users ask why!
cdsausAuthor Commented:
Ok so Raid 6 but can forgo the Hotspare

Thanks for all of this

Natty GregIn Theory (IT)Commented:
Use raid 10 bar none
Quick optimization -> move file server functions out of DC directly to the NAS.

15 users is not much btw. You can add as many disks as fit in a decommisioned desktop PC and it makes a good file server for them
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would start with RAID 6, check for performance. Do not use SATA disks.
Having a hotspare is a good idea in all RAID setups. If you have enough disk bays in your server, always get hotspares. So as Hanccocka said, use at least RAID 6 and additionally a hot-spare.
cdsausAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the answers

Going Raid 6 no hotspare at this stage

900GB in Raid6 which will be plenty

Get the same Storage as Raid 5 with 5th being HS and seems like a much better option

Thanks Adam
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