I am changing out the Promise RAID controller in our server for an Areca 1882i and I am debating what to do for stripe size. I will have eight disks in the RAID array. There will be three logical drives; the boot drive, which contains a mostly vanilla Windows 2k3 installation, and two NTFS drives which house the VMs that make up the real "meat" of our server operations (web server, Exchange server, etc.).
I am wondering: in broad terms, do I go with a larger or smaller stripe size? Technically, the files that I'm dealing with are large (VMs). However, these VMs are generally dealing with small files (spreadsheets, etc.). I'm not sure which to consider when I'm selecting my stripe size.
There are some benchmarks with different stripe sizes manly for NAS boxes on the net. What you see is that the difference is marginal for realworld scenarios. 64k or 128k should be ok. More important will be the cache size (1GB or 4GB) on the controller and the number of raids. one raid1 for the win2k3 and one raid5/6 for the vm's will improve the transactions/s more then a different stripe size.