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For financial reasons we are limited to Windows 2003 and SQL Server 2005 to host Windows SharePoint Services v3, I am looking at the disk topology at the moment and a little unsure if I have got it right. I would appreciate any thoughts.

Disk Topology

HP DL360 G5 (2x 3.00 GHz Quad Core; 22GB RAM)
  HP Smart Array P400i (Embedded; 512MB BBWC)
    Array A (SYSTEM; RAID 1; 128K Block Size)
      146.8 GB Disk (SAS; 15K)
      146.8 GB Disk (SAS; 15K)
    Array B (DATA; RAID 1+0; 64K Block Size)
      300.0 GB Disk (SAS; 10K)
      300.0 GB Disk (SAS; 10K)
      300.0 GB Disk (SAS; 10K)
      300.0 GB Disk (SAS; 10K)
  • Because I am using Windows 2003 I can not adjust the partition alignment of the SYSTEM partition.
  • I have configured the Stripe Size of Array B to 64K and the Partition Offset and the File Allocation Unit Size to 64K. (ref)
  • All firmware on for the Server, RAID Controller and Disks has been upgraded using the HP Firmware Upgrade Disc.

Maths Bit

According to Jimmy May the following two functions should equal a natural (positive integer) number.

Partition Offset ÷ Stripe Unit_Size

Stripe Unit Size ÷ File Allocation Unit Size

In the case of Array B as all values are 64KB (65536 bytes) so both functions are equal to 1.

Usage

  • We are an educational establishment:
    • ~2,100 Students,
    • ~300 Staff,
    • ~800 Sets of Parents.
  • Using SharePoint as VLE, Intranet and Extranet (for Parents).
  • In extreme conditions we could have 400 simultaneous users, 1,200 across the 16 critical hours in the day.
  • In general there will be more like 100 simultaneous users.

Questions

  1. Have I got my maths correct?
  2. Is this server going to be sufficient for our needs?
  3. Is the disk topology optimal for the combination of servers and disks (I have some spare 300GB 10K, 147GB 15K and 72GB 15K disks). Might I be better with two RAID 1 arrays in place of the 1+0 array and split off Data/Logs/TempDB.

Thanks in advance!

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

1.Have I got my maths correct?

Yes, you're dealing with all multiples of 64k.

2.Is this server going to be sufficient for our needs?

Likely yes but its hard to say. 400 users viewing a few pages is easy. 400 users uploading content and doing other intensive stuff might be an issue. In general, I think you've got a satisfactory solution to start with.

3.Is the disk topology optimal for the combination of servers and disks (I have some spare 300GB 10K, 147GB 15K and 72GB 15K disks). Might I be better with two RAID 1 arrays in place of the 1+0 array and split off Data/Logs/TempDB?

You only have room for 6 disks in this box so you don't have a ton of options. Certainly mirroring the OS is good so what to do with the other 4? You really only have 2 options and you've already picked the first one. As you suggested, two mirror sets to separate logs and db would also work. I would usually advocate separating the logs and db but that's generally assuming you can mirror the logs and build a bigger RAID10 set for the db. You don't have enough disks to do that so I think more spindles in one RAID10 is better than two mirrors and would leave it as it is.

In general I think you're right to spend so much time confirming the build before proceeding but it certainly looks like you've thought this through in detail and already have a good config. Good luck.

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Thank you for your response, peak usage would most likely be part of the emergency procedures, so it would be looking at pages. –  Richard Slater Jan 30 '10 at 8:51

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