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W2K AS install - disk setup?

By matt_falenski ·
I am setting up an Exchange 2000 server, and I'm not sure what the best way is to allocate the disks. It's a Compaq ML370, 1G RAM, dual processor, 431 RAID card, and 5 18.2G Ultra3 10K HDDs. We want to maximize the amount of space.
How should I set the drives? I have been told to mirror 2 drives for the OS & swap file and set the other 3 in a RAID5. To me, using 2 drives in a mirror seems excessive for just the OS. Does anyone have any good suggestions? I can purchase an additional 18.2G drive if necessary.

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W2K AS install - disk setup?

by maxwell edison In reply to W2K AS install - disk set ...

There are many factors to take into consideration, some of which you've mentioned, some not.

I've referenced a Windows 2000 Magazine article titled, "Exchange 2000 Performance Planning". It's very informative and quite thorough, and it's nicly illustrated as well.

Some of the sections include:

Partitioning the IS

Storage Performance Basics

Storage Configuration

Expanding Boundaries

And it shows a nice Example Configuration

The article may be found at this link:

http://www.win2000mag.com/Articles/Index.cfm?ArticleID=8287

(REMOVE SPACES from the pasted URL.)

Good luck,

Maxwell

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W2K AS install - disk setup?

by matt_falenski In reply to W2K AS install - disk set ...

Thanks for the info, but this was not exactly what I was looking for.

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W2K AS install - disk setup?

by curlergirl In reply to W2K AS install - disk set ...

I have also heard the advice that you should mirror 2 drives for the OS and then use the rest for the RAID 5 array. The reasoning for this is that you don't want the operating system to be part of the array in case it (the array) fails. Well, if this is really true, that's not very fault tolerant and then what good is the array after all? I've never followed this advice. In addition to what I've already said, like you I can't see the point of having two mirrored 18.5 GB drives (or even 9 GB-ers) for just the OS - seems like a complete waste. I have always configured my arrays with all the available drives - 1. The "-1" drive is left over as a spare so that if one drive fails in the array, you can rebuild the array using the spare immediately and then just replace the failed drive with a new one as a spare. I have had a single drive fail in an array where the OS was on the array and had no trouble rebuilding it. I even had one case where the failed drive was not detected for several weeks (YES - WEEKS!!) on a small server and I was still able to rebuild it. So, that's my advice - use 4 drives for the main array and leave one as a hot spare. Put your OS and everything on the main array. Once you have the hardware RAID configuring done, you can create whatever size partitions you like in the OS. Hope this helps!

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W2K AS install - disk setup?

by matt_falenski In reply to W2K AS install - disk set ...

Thanks, this is what I was think about doing.

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W2K AS install - disk setup?

by Shanghai Sam In reply to W2K AS install - disk set ...

Building a secure and available system is like forming a sports team that is aiming for the top. It is important to have top players in the first lineup, but it is equaly important to have a "long bench" ie top players who can always jump in and fill any position in the game, during the game.

Exchange 2000 is mission critical system, the one that your company depends on, the one that your job and your reputation depend on and the one where you prove your competence.

So, hard disks are relatively cheap today. It is not worth taking risks which could easily be avoided with one or more redundant disks.

I would go for:
- Mirror (2 drives) for OS,
- RAID 5 (3 drives) for data disk
- 1 drive as hot spare (if you can purchase additional drive)

If I could, I'd go for even more options:
- Rack mounted server
- Additional 431 RAID controller
- External storage rack
- dedicated UPS

Exchange 2000 also enables you to define more storage groups and databases. With this featureyou can separately manage message storage locations for various departments (management, financial, sales etc).

And remember, maintaining an available Exchange system is like a sports season. It is long and you should be well prepared for every situation and you should practice for disaster recovery scenarios.

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W2K AS install - disk setup?

by matt_falenski In reply to W2K AS install - disk set ...

Poster rated this answer

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W2K AS install - disk setup?

by matt_falenski In reply to W2K AS install - disk set ...

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