Single RAID5 Array for SBS2008 ??

Microsoft Windows

I'm trying to decide on the best configuration for a "Small" Small
Business server 2008 std. This is for a network of maximum 5 users.
I'm going to use an ML115 with the built-in RAID and configure it as
RAID5 (3x160Gb) with a 100Gb partition on the system. A separate
partition for Swap and the rest for Data and Applications.
I would appreciate comments of pros and cons.
Thanks for the swift reply


Standard
6Gb
1.5G
No, it's the in-built software raid (with drivers)
It's only going to be used for file sharing and email to be honest.(3
users)
I understand the benefits of hardware RAID but wondered for the size
of network if it is necessary.
Will RAID5 on this be ok? - Any reason to use a Mirror rather than
RAID5
All documentation seems to suggest a mirrored drive for a "small"
server
Generally speaking all my smaller SBS deployments are always a single RAID 5
array partitioned out in to multiple logical drives. I perfer RAID 5 over a
RAID 1 mirror simply because its much easier to expand a RAID 5 array in the
future to allow for growth (just add extra drive(s) and expand the array to
include the new drives). Depending on the number of disks available, I also
like RAID 10 arrays partitioned out.

I will second Cris' suggestion on a hardware RAID controller. I've been
burnt by software RAID before, so only do hardware RAID, and always
configure with a dedicated hotspare.

--

Chad A. Gross
http://www.msmvps.com/blogs/cgross

It's only going to be used for file sharing and email to be honest.(3
users)
I understand the benefits of hardware RAID but wondered for the size
of network if it is necessary.
Will RAID5 on this be ok? - Any reason to use a Mirror rather than
RAID5
All documentation seems to suggest a mirrored drive for a "small"
server
As Chris and Chad suggest, hardware RAID is a far better solution. From a
recovery standpoint, and from a performance standpoint.
people seem to be missing that you can't boot off soft raid5. A single soft
RAID5 is not an option.

Arthur, do yourself a favour and grab the RAID5 option for that server. If
HP don't offer one I'd expect inexpensive SATA II RAID5 options from
HighPoint or Promise to work as would (possibly as inexpensive) Adaptec.

Of course, I mention these inexpensive items for practical reason. As part
of the underlying structure of your system it's better to go to a minimum
midrange card which would have better cache, maybe battery backup, and
probably better diagnostics.
If we are talking about RAID 1 only, I would like to HEAR the different
opnions on what is better...hardware or software RAID 1?
With hardware, you will probably run into trouble when needed to replace
HDDs (HP and other are picky about them)
With software you will have some more processing taking place on the CPU
(but with todays's CPUs...I doubt it will be an issue) but apart from same
size HDDs, you will have greater flexibility in managing ARRAYS and disks.

I have been recently burnt with HP ML 115 G5 built-in hardware controller
(adaptec) where the "master" disk from the array went south and I was stuck
with Array issues not rebuilding just because the HDDs were not Seagate.

Well, that has been my experience with RAID 1 at this level...

Dan
as a general principle hardware RAID is better than software.

Anecdote time:
When SBS03 1st came out a friend and I were testing it on a decent 'white
box' server that didn't have RAID, so we software RAID'd 2*76GB SCSI320 10K
(could have been 15K actually) drives. On most restarts the array rebuilt.
In normal operation the system was responsive and worked fine.
[email protected] says...

Having done this since the old NT days, software RAID is always a last
resort option.

I have several HP servers that have had failed hardware array drives,
one of them has 8 drives, never had a problem with rebuilding or staying
online while 1 drive is faulted. RAID-1 or 5 or 0+1.

With other servers, hardware seems to always be the way to go, even if
it's the crappy motherboard built-in RAID.

Software RAID is dead, don't consider it unless you're living on a test
world.
Leythos,

Perhaps on the really HIGH-END RAID COntrollers that might be the case...but
take the Adaptec RAID COntroller on the ML 115 G5 for exemple ... We had an
ARRAY built on two SAMSUNG HDDs. First day we brought the Server to the
customer, HDD 0 (master for the array) died. We tried placing another brand
new HDD from Sansung...no go...called HP Support and were told they ONLY
support HP Drives... and now we are stuck with having to re-do the entire
server (short of using U$ 610 acronis solution) because we found ourselves
locked out of a solution. Had we used software RAID 1, I'm almost sure we
would not have this issue. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

And as I mentioned before, these days, CPU is almost sleeping (specially
with Xeon Quads)

Dan
[email protected] says...

Sorry for you experience, but there is nothing unique about HP drives,
they don't make drives. Samsung is crap, always has been, never order
Samsung anything. As for support, you didn't need support on Samsung,
you needed support on RAID - I've had this issue with HP servers and
they've never once asked about the drives.


And CPU load was/is not the problem/issue, it's reliability.