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I'm trying to plan the SQL data and log file locations within a new SAN. I have a few databases that are hardly used at all. They are mainly metadata repositories for applications that run once or twice a day, so there is essentially zero load on them at any given time. Performance will not be an issue.

For simplicity's sake, I was thinking of just placing the data and log files on the OS drive (C:) instead of creating more LUNs on the SAN. Assuming that the C:\ drive has adequate RAID fault-tolerance, is there any reason this should not be done?

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If there is no real load on the databases I would have them co-exist with another database LUN set. It's always best to keep the database and logs separate and since you are already doing that for other databases, keep the same scheme.

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+1. There's something to be said for consistency. – joeqwerty May 24 '11 at 14:24

I would at least put the ldf and mdf files together on a different drive from C: That way if the server fails you won't lose the data.

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I should have mentioned in my original post that the databases will still be backed up to a separate server, and then to off-site tapes. So even a total loss of the C:\ drive would not cause the data to be lost. – nicedream May 24 '11 at 14:20
Ah, very well then, carry on! – RateControl May 24 '11 at 14:23

For a lightly used database I don't see any problem with your plan to locate the database and log files on the same drive. Just be aware of any potential performance impact on this database caused by other database activity and vice versa.

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Agreed - if it's so lightly-used that it doesn't cause IO performance problems, do it. Just be aware that if your assumptions change, you are risking performance problems. – mfinni May 24 '11 at 14:22

What kind of SAN do you have? In many cases, you can't control which spindles are "reserved" for which LUNs, making it quite difficult to separate logs and DB on to separate physical disks.

If you are talking about separating them on to different LUNs, then that is a design question based on backups and replication, mostly.

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