Types of servers on SAN

Hi Experts

We run a microsoft hyperv 2012 environement.

We have the following storage volumes setup
- Volume1 (Raid 5) running on an IBM  V3700 SAN
- Volume2 (Raid 5) running on an IBM  V3700 SAN Expansion
- Volume3 (Raid 10) running on an IBM  V3700 SAN Expansion2 (Not currently in use due to RAID10 testing)

Volumes 1 and 2 are setup as one cluster on which we run all our virtual machines off.

We run the following 2012 virtual servers on SAN cluster1 which consits of SAN volume1 and volume2:
File server , Exchange server, DC, various application servers and 2x SQL servers

I'd like to know from the experts if is best practice to group certains servers togerther per volume to ensure we gian maximum performance from the SAN and virtual machines.

Quintin SmithAsked:
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Carlos IjalbaIT Systems DirectorCommented:
Usually what you do when you have different types of storage, is move production machines to the fastest possible storage, and development machines to the slowest, so you do group storage by disk performance.

This is called storage tiering, for example you can have tier 1 Fast on Flash disk, tier 2 Normal in RAID-5 and tier 3 Slow on NL-SAS, for example.

On your particular case you can have tier 1 FAST on RAID 10 and tier 2 NORMAL on the RAID-5.
Quintin SmithAuthor Commented:
Hi. Thanks for your reply

Our disks are all the same.  We have 300gb (15k) SAS drives cross the SAN and the two expansion units.

Currently we have prod and dev servers mixed to even out the free space across volume 1 and volume 2

Since we don't have space as a luxury to split production and Dev servers, what would best best practice in a mixed environment to best combat performance / disk I/O issues?

In other words:
Is it best practice in our case where the disks and hosts are all the same speed to run SQL, Exchange and the file server on the same volumes?
Would there be any performance improvement if let's say the Exchange server is moved to it's own volume (2) ?

Carlos IjalbaIT Systems DirectorCommented:

Yes there would be a speed improvement in moving exchange and SQL far away from the rest of the servers and on their own RAID groups.

The best perf. improvement for your cabin would come from SSD disks along with easy tier however, but this is somewhat expensive.

What I do recommend is to try with the SQL server on it's own volume and run some big load queries and then compare it with the same on the old volume, you might find the gain negligible in some cases, but it might be good enough for your case.

However if you really need boosting a SQL server, then cache or SSDs are the only options.

If you want to see the difference in IOPS between different disk RAID technologies, have a look here and you will see how creating a RAID-6, RAID-5 or RAID10, does have a big difference:


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