I'm going to setup our new server with 8 3TB HDD from Seagate. They come, as far as I know, internally with 4K sectors.

I've run this past weekend some burn-in tests on the disks, before setting them up in the server, and I noticed in some of the tools that it mentioned that they have a 512 bytes logical sector, and 4096 bytes physical sector sizes.

So, I wonder, do I have to make something special to have 4K all the way from the HDD, RAID controller, and later the OS partitions? I'm waiting for the delivery guy to deliver the server, so I don't have access still to the 710's config screen to see if there is something mentioned there, that's why I'm asking here first.

All of them will be on a RAID 6 array, managed by the PERC 710 card with the server. I was thinking on creating just a single volume on it, and later do the different partitions on the installation of the OS (Windows 2012 R2 Datacenter).

Any recomendations or things to look for with this setup?

Thanks a lot.

  • 1
    Windows 2012 is going to align partitions to the nearest 1MB, which is nicely divisible into your 4096 sectors. It will also nicely align to a typical raid chunk size which is presumably something like 64k or 128k. – Zoredache Aug 18 '14 at 21:54
  • Thanks @Zoredache, I've just unpacked the server and will try. – Rodrigo Gómez Aug 18 '14 at 22:28

Zoredache is right on the money with his comment, which probably should have been the answer. The RAID controller and file system will already align things in a manner that won't cause any problems.

There is still room for tweaking things for performance (RAID stripe size and NTFS sector size), but making changes there don't usually have a noticeable impact on performance unless your I/O footprint is at one of the extremes of large or small I/O operations (e.g. video recording vs database I/O).

In the end, it's often fine to stick with defaults if you're unsure, and just do some I/O testing to see if you're happy with the results.

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