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How to change the disk configuration on a running system for aligning the partition and changeing the allocation unit to 64KB?

Would you adamantly refuse to administrate a misconfigured disk-system?

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This question's title made me think it was leading up to a great punchline. "A guy walks into a server room..." – Wesley May 17 '10 at 22:08
"That's what she said!" (Michael Scott 2009, The Office) – joeqwerty May 17 '10 at 22:12
"The bad news is, you're pitching on Tuesday." – Wesley May 17 '10 at 23:24
up vote 3 down vote accepted
  1. You can't without destroying and re-creating the partition.
  2. There are much worse things than a non-optimal disk subsystem. So no I would not - in fact the only things i would refuse to admin would be .. well i haven't found something yet but when I do I'll let you know.

Things ran just fine for years without aligned partitions. Are you seen performance issues with the unaligned disks?

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At this time i didn't know about the real issue. The migration from an old SQL-2000 to the new SQL-2005 was cancelled because the performance was poor, lightyears behind the creapy sql-2000. – Ice May 19 '10 at 21:09

the partiton has to be aligned at partition creation. No I wouldn't refuse to admin it I'd simply note the issue and whenever there are disk related performance problems remind the business that I need downtime to resolve the issue.

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I wouldn't refuse to admin it. In addition, unless you have a very busy server, I would wonder exactly how much of a performance hit is actually occurring because of it. It's one thing to see that the partition is not alligned, it's quite another to prove that that's the cause of performance issues. Have you run any perfmon or other diagnostics to confirm your suspicions?

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For those that are interested : This gives a breakdown of aligned vs non-aligned performance. You can see around a 30% improvement if the disks are aligned. – Holocryptic May 17 '10 at 21:49
@holocryptic: It all depends on need. If your database is tooling along at 8% utilization, there is nothing to worry about. It may also have a bottleneck outside I/O, in which case, it's nothing to worry about. I'm forever seeing DBA's trying to optimize systems that are hardly utilized at all. – Satanicpuppy May 17 '10 at 22:05
@Satanic I hear you. I'm not saying that it needs to be high speed- low drag all the time every time; just that there is evidence out there that if you tune the system right, you can see significant performance improvements vs not tuning it. If you're not seeing performance problems, I would shelve it under "annoying" and not "mission critical". – Holocryptic May 17 '10 at 22:16
@Holo: I agree. While annoying, I would be hesitant to recommend wiping it out and starting from scratch unless there is specific evidence that it's causing performance problems. – joeqwerty May 17 '10 at 22:33
No, sorry there are no proven tests by hand. As i wrote in another comment; the performance was behind the old server and we rolled back not knowing the real reason at this time. – Ice May 19 '10 at 21:11

I can't imagine telling someone I'd "refuse to admin" a system, unless I was given some kind of bizarre ultimatum along with a bizarre system.

To fix this, just create a new database on a correctly formatted partition, and migrate the data to it. Should be relatively straightforward unless the database is ungodly huge, and if it was ungodly huge, I think this would have been a pretty pressing problem before now.

In the admin world, systems that are working are seldom worthy of emergency responses. Plan it out, do your migration in an orderly manner, and you should be fine.

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