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.

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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.

Jim

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This was first published in March 2002

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