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I'm working on building a new file server... a simple Windows Server box with a few terabytes of disk space to share on the LAN. Pain for current hard drive prices aside :( -- I would like to get some benchmarks for this device under load compared to our old server. The old server was installed in 2005 and had 5 136GB 10K disks in RAID 5. The new server has 8 1TB disks in two RAID 10 volumes (plus a hot spare for each volume), but they're only 7.2K rpm, and of course with a much larger cache size.

I'd like to get an idea of the performance expectations of the new server relative to the old. Where do I get started? I'd like to know both raw potential under different kinds of load for each server, as well an idea of what our real-world load looks like and how it will translate. Will disk load even matter, or will performance be more driven by the network connection?

I could probably fumble through some disk i/o and wait counters in performance monitor, but I don't really know what to look for, which counters to watch, or for how long and when.

FWIW, I'm expecting a nice improvement because of the benefits of having two different volumes and the better RAID 10 performance vs RAID 5, in spite of using slower disks... but I'd like to get an idea of how much.

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