Hardware Compromise???

  • BSavoie

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6309

    My company is on the verge of deploying a new SQL Server. Unfortunately, I was not consulted. Not that I'm some SQL Server expert, but I am knowledgeable enough to know that we really need a bare min. of 4 physical drives to be fault tolerant and "best practice" compliant.

    It's really not going to be pushed very hard, it will live in a data center and will essentially host relational reporting data for about 6 separate customers (and DB's) connecting with web based ASP.net reporting applications. Each customer would probably only ever have at most two or three simultaneous connections. The DB's are pretty small... say 1GB each.

    We bought a pretty decent rack mounted Dell something or other with a modern run-of-the-mill quad core processor and I think 16GB of RAM. BUT only two 1TB SATA drives. In my mind this means we must choose between RAIDing the two drives into 1 fault tolerant drive and ignoring the fundamental "best practices" that insist data/log/tempdb live on separate physical drives.

    I need to express my concern, but if I can't convince the powers that be that we need two more drives, what direction should a two drive solution go? 1 RAID drive with EVERYTHING on it, or two non-raid drives with data/logs/tempdb physically separated?

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  • SQLRNNR

    SSC Guru

    Points: 281243

    Let's see, Raid 1 or no raid at all.

    Raid 1 will impact performance. Having OS on same drives as database files will impact performance. Running Virus Scan will impact performance with this kind of setup more than others.

    Reading the database would be faster. Writing will be slower. You at least have redundancy.

    They probably went with a 1U server, and don't have any more bays for more hard drives. Thus a direct attached storage shelf would be needed. Could be expensive.

    Are they also running the webapps from the same server?

    What about security implications with each client accessing the same instance?

    I would really think more drives are necessary - but it is unlikely that you will get them. I am being presumptuous. If there are bays for 2 more drives - push for it. Bare minimum separate the OS from the databases.

    Jason...AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
    _______________________________________________
    I have given a name to my pain...MCM SQL Server, MVP
    SQL RNNR
    Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw[/url]
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  • BSavoie

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6309

    As a matter of fact, I happen to know it is a 2U server. I believe you're right that I won't be able to convince anybody. It stems from the fact that some folks believe they are experts, when the truth of the matter is they could not pass the most basic of SQL Server tests. Could not even come close really. I'm certainly no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I have learned enough to know that I don't know very much, but it's twice as much as anyone else in our development group.

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  • SQLRNNR

    SSC Guru

    Points: 281243

    With it being 2U, I would hold out hope that you could add at least add more drives. There should be a couple of bays. For DR purposes it would be in their best interest.

    Jason...AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
    _______________________________________________
    I have given a name to my pain...MCM SQL Server, MVP
    SQL RNNR
    Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw[/url]
    Learn Extended Events

  • george sibbald

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104200

    You have 6Gb worth of data, max 18 concurrent connections and 16GB memory. sounds like you will be accessing data more from memory than disk. I would raid the disks, start off with the one drive and see how it goes. If performance is not good enough due to i/o you can use the other bay and decide what to separate off based on where the contention is.

    We happily run a number of databases with only 2 drives, one for OS one for everything else, and those servers have only 4GB of memory max.

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  • BSavoie

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6309

    Thanks, good to know. Curious though. You chose two separate non-raid drives, yet you are recommending I raid two drives into 1. Is this because of the gobs of memory in my config?

    Thanks for the response!!

    .

  • george sibbald

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104200

    Our OS drive would be a local mirrored drive, the database drive either local or SAN raid 5. Important thing though is only one io controller each, so its 2 physical drives, no separation of logs ,tempdb,data.

    you say the server won't be pushed hard and you have two drives so better to have the disk redundant rather than 2 separate drives.

    Based on 6GB worth of data in your databases that should all be in memory if you have 16Gb RAM, so I don't see io being a bottleneck, so yes that is why I think you should raid your drives.

    also 1 terrrabyte sounds more than enough storage for that size of database.

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  • BSavoie

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6309

    Got it. Thanks for the explanation.

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