Installing RAID… and disks over 2GB…
Installing RAID is no problem these days – most of the configuration settings are defaulted for performance (although best to check for larger disks) and its just a case of deciding on the best type of RAID and number of partitions.
- RAID 0: Striped.
- RAID 1: Mirrored.
- RAID 10: Striped and Mirrored.
- RAID 5: Striped with Parity.
- RAID Other: There are others (2, 3, 4, 6 etc), but not used anywhere near as much as the above.
In the old days, pre Y2K 😉 it was common to split partitions into at least 3: OS, Programs and Data. But these days of big files, huge logs and bigger disks (storage loss to large partitions becoming actually less important) means that it is often wiser to stop running out of partition space and having to move files around. Just put everything on the same big partition – apart from the bootable OS that is (50GB should be enough for a stripped down Hypervisor). Put that on it’s own partition so that the other partitions (containing your data and Virtual Machines) can still be accessed from another OS in emergency. So, you’ll need 2 partitions.
What’s more important for performance is choosing the right RAID for the actual server usage – mirroring is good for OS and Program Data, striping good for quick read and write data, RAID 10 a combination of the 2 (if you have at least 4 disks, preferably same sized), and RAID 5 good if you want to add disks one at a time later for more storage.
Note – if using disks bigger than 2GB, you’re up against the old BIOS limitations – 16 bit blah blah, but basically using the new GUID Partition Record GPT instead of old Master Boot Record MBR. So you’ll have to use the new UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) – many startup guidance systems (Lenovo / ThinkServer EasyStartup, HP SmartStart etc) will not be able to handle that with their USB preparation files, so you’ll have to boot into UEFI and install the first OS from there. Best of luck with that (probably have to enter UEFI shell commands manually – hey, that’s progress!). Don’t forget to leave a partition for the management agents!