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I am setting up a new windows server and want to know what will be the best solution to have multiple hard disk. Does it need multiple partitons. And how can I store files on any drive.

The scripting language is in php and I will be using this server as storage server and planning to add 10 hard disks.

Thank You.

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What will the server do? Only PHP? Some database (which one)? What do you mean by "storage server"? Will it be a file server for users? – Massimo Dec 10 '09 at 11:14
yes it will be purely file server and mysql database will be used. – Shishant Dec 10 '09 at 11:38
That comment makes no sense, how cna it be purely a file server (ie serving files over the network) and then use MYSQL – Sam Dec 10 '09 at 11:50
I am sorry I mean it will be used for serving files only. Web server software will be Apache with php / mysql and ftp – Shishant Dec 10 '09 at 11:59
So not for storing files only then? You're running apache and mysql on the same box? – Boden Dec 10 '09 at 16:21
up vote 2 down vote accepted

It depends.

With ten drives, you'll want the most storage capacity for your money. I'd go with RAID 1+0 or RAID 5+1.

If you're doing a lot of read and write, bear in mind that RAID 5 is slower, and more than one dead drive will destroy the array. RAID 1 is better for performance.

If it were me, I'd put the OS on two disks with a mirror (RAID 1), and then the other four in a RAID 5 with mirror (RAID 5+1) if you want redundancy, or RAID 1+0 for better performance.

For maximum capacity, you can go with RAID 5 on all eight disks, but keep the above in mind.

So if you have ten 1TB drives, you'll get 1TB for OS, and 3TB in RAID 5+1, or 4TB in RAID 1+0.

Gosh I hope that makes sense.

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I think it would be a good idea to have OS on two disks (RAID 1) and then RAID 5+1 for data...nice post – Rodent43 Dec 10 '09 at 13:20
Thanks, Rodent. I've never had ten disks to play with, so I had to curb my enthusiasm a little. – user3914 Dec 10 '09 at 13:26

If you've got ten drives to play with...

I'd consider RAID 6 over RAID 5 or 5+1. It can tolerate two failed drives and is only slightly less economical than RAID 5 (and both 5 and 6 are more economical than 5+1).

I like to have physical separation between the OS and data. With 10 drives, I would consider a simple RAID 1 for the OS, and then a RAID 6 array for the data. And don't forget a hot spare. So 2 drives for the OS, 7 drives for the data, and one hot spare. (personally I like a dedicated hot spare per array, but...) In a configuration like this, using "server class" SATA 500GB drives (which are fairly inexpensive), you'd have 2500GB of usable data space to create your logical devices in. 500 GB for the OS is way overkill, but it's nice to only stock a single brand/size hard drive.

This may require hardware support. I've never done software RAID in Windows.

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