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SQL Server performance considerations when configuring a SAN

We are trying to install a storage area network (SAN) for our database. The total database size (MDF) could grow to 200 GB in next two years, while the total log file size (LDF) would not exceed 50 GB. The tempdb may be around 10 to 15 GB.

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I could use your advice in determining the following information from a performance point of view:

  1. Location of the databases or files

  2. RAID level

  3. Number of files to use for the tempdb

  4. How to configure the SAN for the above requirements

At a high level, I would recommend having this discussion with your DBAs, network engineers, storage administrators and SAN vendor. Depending on the SAN, you can have a variety of options. I would say to physically split your databases from your transaction logs on the SAN, and split your SQL Server data from other processing. You should plan how the SAN will be used in the long term so you do not have I/O contention. Next, the RAID level is SAN dependent. The fastest and most costly would be RAID 1, but I would see what other options your vendor can offer. For tempdb sized at 10 to 15 GB, I would recommend 1 MDF and 1 LDF. Finally, make sure you have redundancy to your SAN from your SQL Server, so you have no single points of failure.


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This was first published in September 2005

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