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Optimal solution for SAN disk configuration

What is the optimal solution for SAN disk configuration - RAID0 or RAID5? Where is the industry heading?

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There is no optimal solution. It always depends on the application.

Best practice by all the database and mail/messaging vendors is to use RAID1 for transaction logs and RAID5 for the databases. RAID 1+0 would be best since you get the performance of striping with the availability of mirrors.

RAID0 is the fastest but does not use parity. That's why it's fast, no parity overhead. So, RAID0-based data is subject to disk failure causing data loss.

The solution with the best ratio of performance vs. cost is RAID5. That's why it's so prevalent out there.

I like RAID 1+0 if you can afford the disk space penalty associated with it. If not, then RAID5 makes a lot of sense since you get pretty good performance and,


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This was first published in August 2002

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