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I am about to deploy a new server at work as follows:
Dell T610
2 x Xeon 2.53 Quad core
24 GB RAM
1 x Perc H700 RAID controller with 1GB Non Volatile memory
8 x 300GB 15k SAS Hard drives

I am looking for recommendations of how to best configure this for use as a SQL server. I have the following in mind:

Option 1
Allocate a 4GB RAM drive for TempDB
Group all 8 drives into large RAID 10 array for OS, Database and Log files

Option 2
Allocate 4GB RAM drive for TempDB
Use some mixture of RAID arrays (but only have one controller)!

Option 3
Any other suggestions!

For info, the databases in question consist: 1 x 4GB under heavy Read and Write use, 1 x 4GB clone for testing purposes, 2/3 other more minor databases.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 13 '11 at 11:20

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2 Answers

What I'd do

  • 4 disks for RAID 10 for all log files
  • Disk RAID 5 for all data files + OS
  • Don't bother with RAM disks

Why?:

  • With 24GB RAM all databases will be in memory so RAID 5 doesn't matter because disk reads won't really happen
  • Write performance is determined by log file throughput
  • Data files are larger then log files so RAID 5 is more efficient

What isn't ideal:

  • Not having one volume per database log file
  • Separation of local backup drives
  • Not having separate RAID 1 for OS + binaries

Other options:

  • Define "heavy write": you could go to RAID 1 for LDFs and another for OS for less than a few million rows per day
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OK, Is this beneficial over having all 8 disks in a RAID 10? –  James Holland Jun 13 '11 at 20:03
    
Yes. Different usage pattern of logs vs data means a split is best –  gbn Jun 13 '11 at 20:08
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Gbn has pretty much covered everything. Just to add, I would put the tempdb on a separate disks from the others.

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