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Hardware Thread, New SQL Server Check in Technical; Hi folks, Just wondering if someone could check over my planned spec for a new SQL server to handle our ...
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    Duke's Avatar
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    New SQL Server Check

    Hi folks,

    Just wondering if someone could check over my planned spec for a new SQL server to handle our SIMS database? The current box is a few years old and struggling a bit so I want to offload some of the work onto a new box.

    Dell R510/R610/R710 (see note)
    Windows Server 2008 R2 (if Capita decide they'll support R2)
    MS SQL 2008 SP1
    2x Intel Xeon E5520 (2.26Ghz, 8M Cache, HT)
    8GB RAM (4x 2GB RDIMM)
    2x 146GB 15k SAS in RAID 1 (OS drives)
    4x 146GB 15k SAS in RAID 10 + Hot Spare (SQL/Data drives)
    2x 1Gb NIC
    Redundant PSUs

    (Chassis Note: If I have the above RAID layouts and a hot spare I need 7 HDDs, the R510 is the only chassis that will take this many 3.5" drives, the R610 will do it with 2.5" drives)

    Anyone see any flaws here or got any feedback?

    Many thanks in advance,
    Chris

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    Duke's Avatar
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    No DBAs here?

    I know the transaction logs should ideally be on a different physical disk array to the SQL data. I don't particularly want a third array to deal with so may just use the OS array - anyone see a problem with this?

    Chris

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    ahuxham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    Hi folks,

    Just wondering if someone could check over my planned spec for a new SQL server to handle our SIMS database? The current box is a few years old and struggling a bit so I want to offload some of the work onto a new box.

    Dell R510/R610/R710 (see note)
    Windows Server 2008 R2 (if Capita decide they'll support R2)
    MS SQL 2008 SP1
    2x Intel Xeon E5520 (2.26Ghz, 8M Cache, HT)
    8GB RAM (4x 2GB RDIMM)
    2x 146GB 15k SAS in RAID 1 (OS drives)
    4x 146GB 15k SAS in RAID 10 + Hot Spare (SQL/Data drives)
    2x 1Gb NIC
    Redundant PSUs

    (Chassis Note: If I have the above RAID layouts and a hot spare I need 7 HDDs, the R510 is the only chassis that will take this many 3.5" drives, the R610 will do it with 2.5" drives)

    Anyone see any flaws here or got any feedback?

    Many thanks in advance,
    Chris
    Just got ourselves a R610 as a SQL server. 2 x 146 Raid 1 for OS, and 2 x 146 Raid 1 or SQL. This has been advised and sufficient in Raid 1 with the Transaction logs on the same drive.

    Our ERP system is very SQL intensive, and our developers state this would be more than adequate, so can't see a single fault with the above specification.

  4. Thanks to ahuxham from:

    Duke (10th March 2010)

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Thanks, really appreciate the feedback! The quote came in a few hundred less than I expected so I could get another RAID1 set just for the transaction logs, but that'd mean 2 + 2 + 4 drives leaving no room for a hot spare which I really would like. I think what I've specced is already overkill, but I can upgrade it to 12GB RAM which will guarantee we can keep the DB in RAM (it's currently 6GB) for the foreseeable future.

    Much appreciated,
    Chris

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    ahuxham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    Thanks, really appreciate the feedback! The quote came in a few hundred less than I expected so I could get another RAID1 set just for the transaction logs, but that'd mean 2 + 2 + 4 drives leaving no room for a hot spare which I really would like. I think what I've specced is already overkill, but I can upgrade it to 12GB RAM which will guarantee we can keep the DB in RAM (it's currently 6GB) for the foreseeable future.

    Much appreciated,
    Chris
    What about running the transaction logs on a single drive rather than raid drive? They aren't the end all, and you could robocopy these off somewhere nightly, I can see a new drive failing any time soon, at least that gives you a hot-spare for the Raid 10 array there.

    And as a note, if you get the Perc 6/i controller with the chassis, enjoy the nightmare that is getting the drivers loaded during server install. What a PITA that was.

    Need to download the drivers, download dells special USB flash utility and flash the files to the drive to get it too work, I tried numerous times just copying the files over, but alas it wont work, and no Dell documentation stated I needed this flash tool

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    danrhodes's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=ahuxham;475403]What about running the transaction logs on a single drive rather than raid drive? They aren't the end all, and you could robocopy these off somewhere nightly, I can see a new drive failing any time soon, at least that gives you a hot-spare for the Raid 10 array there.
    QUOTE]

    This seems like the best idea to me, losing your global hot spare seems a bit risky really, I'd have the log on a standalone drive and robocopy nightly for backup.

    D

  8. Thanks to danrhodes from:

    Duke (10th March 2010)

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    [quote=danrhodes;475407]
    Quote Originally Posted by ahuxham View Post
    What about running the transaction logs on a single drive rather than raid drive? They aren't the end all, and you could robocopy these off somewhere nightly, I can see a new drive failing any time soon, at least that gives you a hot-spare for the Raid 10 array there.
    QUOTE]

    This seems like the best idea to me, losing your global hot spare seems a bit risky really, I'd have the log on a standalone drive and robocopy nightly for backup.

    D
    Yeah could do, good point. The other option would be to put transaction logs on our SAN over iSCSI which is SSD-accelerated. I know quite a few people recommend running the whole SQL setup off a SAN with SSDs but it's not something I've got much experience with. Good news is that I don't need to do the migration immediately so can benchmark and test everything first.

    Chris

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    danrhodes's Avatar
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    Would you get the required throughput on your SAN though is it fibre attached what the details?

    D

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Nah, Ethernet only. It's a Sun 7410, 22TB with flash read/write accelerators which can provide tons on IOPS. Network-bandwidth-wise it'd be a 2Gb trunk for now. It's plenty fast enough for running virtual machines off but I'd need to do some testing to see if it'll handle SQL over iSCSI.

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    danrhodes's Avatar
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    Give it a test it may be good enough? Would be good if it was ey!

    D

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    Yep, even better for redundancy than another RAID array as it's on a completely separate box! Just getting the final server spec together now, hopefully should be able to afford 12GB RAM and two global hot spare drives.

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    Sounds good :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke View Post
    Yep, even better for redundancy than another RAID array as it's on a completely separate box! Just getting the final server spec together now, hopefully should be able to afford 12GB RAM and two global hot spare drives.
    Those two hot-swaps a result of running the logs on the SAN?

    Very clever idea if you have the technology and it sure does mean you either save money, or can spec a much better machine.

    And I'm sure a 2GB trunk into the SAN would suffice

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    A 2GB trunk would work yes but as long as the disks can provide enough data, im sure they will but its best to check rather than just asume they will.

    D

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    Quote Originally Posted by ahuxham View Post
    Those two hot-swaps a result of running the logs on the SAN?
    Well the R510 will take 8 HDDs, and I figured if I've got 2 HDDs in RAID1 and 4 HDDs in RAID10, might as well make use of the extra two bays for redundancy. This assumes logs will either be on the OS drive or on the SAN, but one way or another I'm sure it'll be fine. The current server works okay, albeit slowly under load and all that's got is 10K drives in RAID5 with a partition for the OS and for SQL, so this is already a huge improvement.

    I'll have a play with the SAN and let you guys know if you want. The main disks are only 7.2k SATA but the flash accelerators give me better IOPS than most people are seeing from 15k SAS arrays. Take a look at the Sun S7000 stuff if you haven't already, gorgeous kit.

    Thanks for all the help and advice, much appreciated!
    Chris



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