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I'm in the planning stage for a new (single) server for 10-15 users. The server will have 8 drive bays and I will need two of them for backup storage (SATA-RAID1).

How should I use the remaining 6 drive bays (6x SAS 10k) for best performance?

I need arrays/partitions/vhds for the following systems:

  • Hyper-V host (Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition - not a domain member)
  • virtual Server 2008 R2 + DC / DNS / DHCP
  • virtual Server 2008 R2 + Exchange 2010
  • virtual Server 2008 R2 + SQL 2008 R2 (light usage)
  • virtual Server 2008 R2 + System Center Data Protection Manager + WSUS

Should I use a single RAID 10 array (6x SAS drives) with two partitions (first partition: Hyper-V host / second partition: fixed size VHDs)

Or is it better to use 2x SAS drives (RAID1) for the host system + 4x SAS drives (RAID 10) for all virtual systems (fixed size VHDs)?

Or should I even aim for 3x RAID 1 (Hyper-V host, Exchange, other systems)?

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Didn't we have this exact question a few weeks ago? seriously, exactly the same?

Either way just make one bit six disk R10 array and partition it up - with so few disks there's little benefit doing anything else.

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This is what I will be doing with a very similar setup. I found this TechNet forum thread helpful for further reading. –  zacharydl Mar 9 '13 at 0:01
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