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I will be installing SQL Server 2012 on a new Dell T430 server containing four (4) physical 15K SAS 6Gbps disk drives using a PERC H730P RAID Controller and RAID 1. Since this will be the first time I've installed SQL Server 2012, can someone please recommend an optimal configuration for disk allocations. My thoughts were to install the OS, programs and main databases on one physical drive and put the transaction and logs (both TEMPDB and main DBs) on the other disk drive. Would someone have a better recommendation so I can get the best performance out of the limited resources? Thanks.

  • How much data throughput are you expecting/estimating? – Ali Razeghi Jun 16 '15 at 0:31
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Best practises state that the optimal storage configuration is to have at least three volumes: One for the OS, another for the Database files and the third for transaction logs and to that you should add a fourth one for tempdb.

Sometimes you just don't live in an optional world though. If you cant possibly get a third pair of disks, I would recommend that you benchmark different configuration using SQLIO. In your case you might be able to squeeze more I/O from the raid controller, without sacrificing redundancy by setting all four disks up as a single volume using RAID 1+0 and create four partitions on that for the os, data, log and tempdb. Only a benchmark will tell.

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  • Thanks for the rapid response and good info, Sporri. I'll check into adding several more disks that would enable me to split these into a more optimal configuration. If I can't at this time, I'll pursue the RAID 1+0 route you mention. Much appreciated. – DDale Jun 16 '15 at 17:55
  • It seems like I wouldn't be able to control where all of the data would be physically located, since the OS, data, log and tempdb would mixed across the four disk drives - or, would that even matter, since all four drives would, essentially, have equal I/O. Correct? – DDale Jun 16 '15 at 20:06
  • Yes, but this could also bite you back. You have to test both ways using SQLIO - but get more disks, thats much better :) – Spörri Jun 16 '15 at 20:57
  • 10-4. Will do. I agree with you that the best alternative is to buy more disks. Based on your great feedback and other tech articles, I plan to initially go with the RAID 1+0 plan and see how that performs. If not ideal, I'll add disks and move tempdb and log files to the additional drives. Thanks for your comments, Spoori. – DDale Jun 17 '15 at 15:18

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