I read an EMC paper about databases, disk stripping and disk contingency, but it wasn't clear. What provides the best performance: a single volume of 14-disk RAID 5 or two volumes of 7 drives RAID 5 each? Assuming one RAID controller with dual channels attached to the external unit (14 drives) to be used by an SQL2K OLAP database.

Trying to relate an EMC paper (when it's referencing an Integrated Cache Disk Array) to a JBOD solution is difficult....

I can understand your confusion.

If you are using a single controller, I would suggest striping (RAID-0) and using multiple RAID groups (RAID-3 or 5). Separate the RAID groups over the channels. A stripe size of 64K works well with SQL systems.

Note: Even though you have a RAID controller, you only have one, thus a single point of failure.

You can also look at my previous answers where I talk about the optimum way to layout a database.


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This was first published in March 2002

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