Need input about Raid5

I am working for a medium size company. Our hardware department just purchased PowerVault nx400 2tb raid5 space but don't have expertise to setup the server as this is our first SAN device.

I am not going to setup the machine but responsible to make decision about setup.... (scary...right?)

We primarily bought this server for Oracle DB but our total data files are below 20gb (very small.....).... I am thinking about using this machine for all various in house storages (as this is a heavy duty storage solution compare to our current setup)..

I want to make sure oracle data files are kept in seperate location where other program doesn't interfere with it and it can have its own autobackup run peridically and live data backup to another server....

is it a good idea to partition this kind of server so different kind of data can be managed in its own partition?

Is it a good idea to utilize this machine for oracle and sqlserver and ms.access databases storage and may be some file storage (worried about the performance affect with too many data or it doesn't matter much)?

what is the best way to manage backups (as this is only 1 hard drive failure safe)?

Can you guys pls point me to some good documentations or suggest me some of the best practices to utilize best out of this machine?

Thank you guys and sorry for this newbie related big questions.... (i have been reading since last two days but not moving any where)

4 answers Last reply
More about need input raid5
  1. Are you sure this is a SAN? What connector does it have to the storage device?

    At SAN level, you typically don't create partitions. Partitions are logical zoning of the disk which is done at the remote server, not on the SAN. You need to create disk pools call LUNs on your SAN for the different task. Keep the disks for oracle LUN separate from the disks for the other application LUNs. If you have sufficient disk in your SAN, you should create different LUNs for each application. That will ensure you won't get collision from multiple applications trying to read/write to the same set of disk at the same time ie, oracle could be read/write to one set of disks while your users on a network share can upload files to anther set of disks.

    RAID10 should give you the best performance for your DB. Some newer SAN devices have optimized (so they say) code for RAID5/6 which give comparable performance to native RAID10. The RAID level you choose will be dependent on the redundancy vs storage capacity you require.
  2. The PowerVault nx400 is a NAS, not a SAN, but that doesn't matter much. You can set up a big raid5 on all four disk. The specs say is comes configured as that as default. I don't recommend creating separate volumes for each db / file store. Just stick with folders an use the windows security features. What worries me a bit is the usage for one or more data bases and file storage. It depends on the number of transactions on the db's, if it works or not. At the end you only have four disks for all the i/o's. It might be a good idea to call Dell and ask for a system engineer to help you with the setup.
  3. I'm not sure what type of database application you are running against that Oracle DB, but if it requires a lot of disk IO, I would not use a NAS or RAID 5. he NAS is fine for file storage, but I would utilize either DAS or a SAN for high IO things such as databases. The NAS would also work well as a backup device for your databases.
  4. That makes more sense. Your company just made one huge mistake if they intend on setting up oracle using NAS disk across the network.
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