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RAID 5 Support?


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Hi, I have numerous servers I work on running Window's Small Business Server 2003, on HP Proliant machines with a RAID 5 configuration. I would like to know if this configuration is supported. I have only seen references to RAID 0 and 1. Also, is there any known issues with defragging an Exchange 2003 database on SBS?


Thanks in advance!

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I don't exactly how defragging works in Windows, but from what I've read and tried myself, the physical configuration of a volume should not matter for defragmentation. Especially if your configuration uses hardware RAID (as opposed to firmware-RAID, or worse, software-RAID).


Maybe the only thing that might trouble Defraggler (haven't tested it, so it's just a hunch) is "dynamic" disks (a Windows feature to allow software-RAID, and some other extra features). Because dynamic disks no longer have a traditional partition table and such.


So I guess Defraggler doesn't care about the physical configuration. Having hardware-RAID (which I suspect is the case in a Proliant server) is no different from having regular SATA disks, non-RAID SCSI disks or even USB disks. The driver should handle all I/O transparently to any sort of application.


Afaik, that is.



About your Exchange database. That's an in-use file. I've seen Defraggler skipping files that are in-use, but not nearly all of them. I *think* Defraggler cannot defrag files that have an exclusive lock by another user. Exchange hopefully runs in the context of a different user than the one logged on, and I believe Exchange does put exclusive locks on its databases. So I think you need a commercial tool to do that job.


Also, Exchange databases, and any other sort of database, can fragment from the inside as well. The big file on disk might be contiguous, but records inside the database may still be fragmented. This level of fragmentation can only be taken care of by special tools. Exchange has a tool for it (don't ask me) and some commercial defraggers also offer specialized plugins or addons to defragment the inside of such databases...


So good luck with that :)

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at THany... Hey thanks for your input. I guess I should ask if anyone has any experience using Defraggler on Window's Small Business Server 2003 with Exchange Server Active. I am not trying to use Defraggler to defraf the Exchange database, I just want to make sure I will not run into any issues with it if I am defragging a drive that has the Exchange database file on it. Unfortunately, I do not have a lab environment to test this product on and I cannot afford to test it in a live environment. Also, has anyone run into any issues with RAID 5 from a hardware scsi controller on HP Proliant Servers. Thanks in advance!!

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