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I'm due to set up a LAMP box with four drives and a RAID controller to act as a web server. The drives are 146Gb SAS, and the machine has two quad core processors and 16Gb RAM.

There will be very few write operations to the MySQL database, and I'll be using as much caching as possible to reduce disk I/O.

Question is: Would I be better off splitting the drives into two RAID 1 arrays, splitting up sequential and random disk I/O, or would I get better overall performance putting them all in a single RAID 1+0 array?

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When in doubt, keep it simple. Meaning one RAID10 of all four spindles. Assuming you got a quality RAID card (with BBWC) it'll be better at handling mixed I/O than you or I can manually.

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Raid 10 would probably have better performance overall. Splitting mysql indexes and data files may add some boost, but, if you are not doing a lot of mysql writes, the performance gain may not be worth the headache.

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With my main database configuration, I keep the data stored on a RAID1+0 tier 1 storage. The logs and OS are kept on RAID1 cheaper drives. (10k versus 15k, for example.)

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