When we set up our SBS 2008 installs, we use a RAID 1+0 configuration with three partitions on the RAID array.
We do this because of the extra throughput we get for both reads and writes. RAID 5 takes a pretty good performance hit on writes, while reads are similar to a RAID 0 stripe.
Our partitioning is done as follows:
- System C: 100GB
- Swap File S: 25GB (2.5 * RAM)
- Data Partition L: GB Balance
Now, since we do keep the Exchange databases on the system partition, the size of the organization is an important consideration when it comes to the size of it.
For some RAID controllers, there is the ability to add disks to the array on the fly. From there, we can open the Disk Manager and Extend the last partition on that array.
To resize, move, or modify any of the other partitions with the newly acquired space will require a third party utility that can work with server partitions.
In the case where the RAID array cannot be expanded on the fly, we have the built-in SBS backup to use as an intermediary. The catch is the need to delete the existing array and create a newer and larger one in the RAID controller’s BIOS.
The whole process is actually quite simple and will take a few hours depending on the size of the backup being used.
- We take a backup just prior to downing the server.
- Shut down the server.
- Insert the new drives.
- Reconfigure the RAID array by deleting the existing one and creating a new one incorporating the new disks.
- Boot from SBS 2008 DVD 1.
- Click the Repair link.
- Restore my PC.
- Choose the backup just made for the restore.
- Make sure to load the RAID drivers just in case during the backup restoration steps.
- Run the restore.
- Go have coffee, tea, or take on another short project.
The restore process is set to automatically reboot into the newly restored OS once it finishes.
From there, head into the Disk Manager in the SBS Native Tools Management Console and extend that Data partition.
The new SBS 2008 Backup is phenomenal. The more we experiment with its abilities, the more we grow in confidence using it as our default backup program.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book