SUMMARY: Sun v880, RAID, Configuration

From: Jason McIntosh <>
Date: Tue Feb 18 2003 - 15:52:28 EST
Woah, many thanks to all the responses!

First, as to the matter of mirroring swap.  I had several responses, but
the majority said to go ahead and mirror swap, in that if swap somehow
failed, Solaris would fail and there goes the reliablity of RAID.  They
also all said that the performance hit wasn't that noticable on RAID1+0.
*note* - RAID 1 IS mirroring

All the responses warned me against RAID5.  The various comments were
that RAID5 will slow it down heavily - "perofmred like a dog",
particularly on writes.  The only real reason to go with RAID5 would be
if you needed more space than a RAID1+0 system could offer.  This means
that a RAID1+0 system size is limited to the maximum size of a single
disk.  For larger systems, you would need to either use hardware RAID5,
a SAN, or some other solution.  If we get to that point, an external SAN
might be a better choice for us than using the internal disks.

Another few notes on RAID controller cards - no real consensus on these,
in that some said there wasn't a card, others said there were.
Generally, it sounds like Software RAID though is typical and
acceptible, and that hardware RAID is unavailable from Sun.

Mounting options are mostly fine, but several mentioned adding
"logging", which I'll start looking at.  Aside from that, the default
options work.

As for VxFS and VxVM, the general commentary is yes, it's faster,
better, etc. but for the cost, not always necessary.  The SDS system
works perfectly fine for most uses, and only one the really higher loads
and higher end systems would we need to look at VxFS.

Soft partitions were one idea presented by Carl Marino.  Here's the link
he sent to me.  It's something we'll definitely look at:

As for a partioning scheme, there's several ideas, none of which
recommend using RAID5.  I also used some of the DiskSuite tools, and
found that the only drive getting any hit at all right now is Oracle.
The general thought after discussions and testing is to do something
like this:

/	15GB, RAID1+0 on D1, D2
swap	6GB,  RAID1+0 on D1, D2

/oracle 10GB, RAID1+0 on D1, D2
/oracle/oradata 36GB RAID1+0 on D3, D4

For most, it sounded like a separate /var partition is unnecessary,
although there was no firm response one way or the other.  The comments
on the /var partition were that the majority of logging, as well as
Oracle installation information is in there, and thus having it
separately isn't a bad idea, but probably unnecessary today.

A /usr/local or other partition was also said to be unneccessary
considering the purposes of our system.  Additionally, if I have to, I
can just get more drives for other partitions, and move things around
for something like websphere or other stuff.  Further, I may look at
soft partitions, and rethink the majority of the above.

Last, almost everyone who said anything about solaris said go with
Solaris 9, if nothing else due to the improvements in UFS and SDS and
other components.

Thanks to the list for the information, and special thanks to the
following people for responding:
Hichael Morton
Jay Lessert
Carl Marino
Darren Dunham
Brett Lymn
Tim Chipman
Kevin Buterbaugh
Paul Roetman
Frank Foerster
Andrew Stueve

Jason McIntosh
| Jason McIntosh                       | CELL: 573-424-7612        |
| Webmaster, thinker, Programmer, etc. | WORK: 573-884-3865        |
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|"How should I know if it works?  That's what beta testers are     |
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Received on Tue Feb 18 15:56:39 2003

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