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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Question Unanswered: Recommended Disk Architecture (RAID, etc) for SQL Server?

    I'm looking for some advice/help/recommendations for hard disk architecture on a dedicated SQL Server box that will give good performance and reliability.

    My first thought is just to do a RAID 1 with 2 physical disks and put the OS (Windows Server 2008) and SQL Server 2008 all on the single logical drive.

    Would it be better to separate some of the SQL files/databases/logs onto a separate physical drive? I was thinking of maybe creating 2 separate RAID1 arrays (4 physical disks, 2 logical drive letters) and putting the OS and SQL Server on C:\ and then maybe put the SQL Transaction Logs on D:\ ??

    I've also heard people recommend RAID10, but I think that might be out of my budget.

    The key thing I'd like to avoid is the whole SQL Server going down from a single drive failure (hence the RAID1). But also maybe get some performance benefits out of separating some SQL files onto separate physical disks.

    Anyone have some cost-effective but performant solutions they recommend?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    In front of the computer
    Provided Answers: 54
    In theory, you can make significant differences in SQL Server performance by using different types of RAID for different types of storage. I haven't built a production SQL Server using local disk in ages... I use SAN for nearly every system that I deploy.

    Based on what I've seen on development systems, the RAID factor doesn't seem to matter much in comparison to other design decisions. If I build a good quality box, load it to the absolute gills with RAM, and make tolerably decent disk I/O decisions then the RAID factor has never been a big performance factor.

    Your milage may vary, but I don't see this as hugely important compared to other performance issues. Use RAID, but don't sweat a lot over it unless you can measure disk bottlenecks on your system.

    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    When and where I am able (which is not always due to financial constraints), I use:

    C:\ OS
    E:\ SQL Binaries
    R:\ TempDB (1 file per processor, equi-sized)
    S:\ Data
    T:\ Log

    Again, when and where I am able:
    C:\ RAID-1
    E:\ RAID-5
    R:\ RAID-1 or RAID-10
    S:\ RAID-5
    T:\ RAID-1 or RAID-10

    Of late, I have mostly been falling in the "not able" category due to funding (and an inability on my part to persuade the powers that be that this is a "priority").

    I agree to an extent with Pat...there are other things to focus on besides just drive geometry. Like Pat, I have been mostly dealing with SANs the last few years (which has its pluses and minuses). The biggest minus in my SAN world today is that (because its managed by a separate team and falls under a completely different management structure), we can't "see" what LUNs are shared on which arrays.

    It appears that you have 4(?) physical drives. With that kind of geometry, I would probably do 2 RAID-1s with the OS and log files on 1 and the data files on the other. If it's at all possible, I think you would do well to get an additional could of drives.

    What type of drives are they (SAS, SCIS, IDE)?


    Have you hugged your backup today?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    London, UK
    Storage Top 10 Best Practices
    Physical Database Storage Design

    See also any specific recommendations from your storage vendor.

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