As a file server:
I'm more concerned about read/write performance than anything else. Since the primary role would be a file server, my question is:
1) Which would offer better performance: RAID or no RAID?
2) If RAID is implemented, which would be a better choice?
From what I have read, RAID offers tradeoffs, some levels offer better reads while some better writes and vice versa. Then there is also the matter of disk efficiency in terms of storage space. Of course any RAID level implemented will be less efficient than none at all. But this takes a secondary role of performance. If no RAID is offered, then the performance would depend on the drives itself. Also regarding external RAID solutions, I am very interested as in how the performance for those things are.
3) If I wanted to load the OS/apps/etc. faster, which would be better, SATA or SCSI?
I believe I may have narrowed it down to RAID 0, 5, or 01. RAID 5 is less expensive and reads of small files is better and so are writes than RAID 1-4. RAID 01 may be better yet but of course more expensive? RAID 0 may be worse than no RAID at all in some cases?
My current setup ( or at least on paper would be ):
From my understanding IDE drives may be faster in terms of booting up an OS than SCSI. I assume that SATA is better yet still. Just wondering if this is true or not. As for loading of apps which would be faster? SATA still? What if a 15K RPM Ultra Wide SCSI drive vs. a 10k RPM SATA drive? SCSI supposedly is slower since it has the overhead which would make for a better arguement for SATA since it doesnt have the overhead for command queueing, etc. But then again with the SATA II committee trying to mimick SCSI "features" it is becoming more and more like SCSI except for a different price range and a different interface. SATA II has native queueing so I'm curious as to how that affects performance also. My guess is that it would be like SCSI in that regards. Or better yet, what of an IDE drive? An ATA-133 drive should perform better? It has a simpler implentation and no overhead as with SCSI.
- An 15k SCSI ( probably Seagate ) with all the requisite files, OS, etc.
- On a seperate controller ( as I'm not that fond of motherboard integrated controllers, I like the concept of keeping it simple ), a SATA II controller would be used that would have the majority of the files.
- On a seperate IDE controller would be a 150GB and a 250GB drive. This is because I had these drives in the beginning.
There will also be other roles that this server will play eventually. I plan on using this server for Exchange and maybe various other roles. There may be some light gaming as I havent decided that yet. I'm also deciding over which motherboard to choose from. The case and power supplies and cooling should be pretty much easier to choose from. I believe my final setup would be:
- Dual AMD Opteron 244
- Motherboard: Currently I'm leaning towards the TYAN K8WE or the Arima SW300/310.
- Hard Drive ( for booting purposes and main apps ): 15K SCSI or 10K SATA or IDE whichever is faster ( see above questions )
- PCI-X SATA II controller ( not sure if RAID will be implemented )
- PCI IDE controller: 1 x 150GB HD and 1 x 250GB HD
- PCI-X Video Card
Thats the list as of now. If you've read up to here than thanks for the time.