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Server Builds


January 19, 2010 by Mike Hillwig

I’m building a new server. Actually, I’m building two. We just bought a new pair of SANS (one production, one DR) and are doing a consolidation project with our databases.

Each DB server will live on its own VMWare host. We’re virtualizing so that we can utilize VMWare’s clustering. It also gives us the flexibility to move things around. My two database servers will have identical configurations. One will server internal applications, and the other will host customer-facing applications.

Hardware wise, I’m using IBM HS22 blades with 32 GB of RAM connected to an EMC Clariion CX4-120SAN. Each server has five datastores, each corresponding a LUN on the SAN. Each virtual drive will live in its own storage group. I have a drive for:

  • OS – Aps
  • TempDB
  • Log (LDF) Files
  • Backups
  • Data (MDF/NDF) files

My preference would have been to have the virtual machines use an iSCSI initiator to talk to the SAN, but I got overruled on that one. Still, this is a better configuration than I had before. (We had no SAN at all.)

Everything is 64 bit SQL 2005.  Again, I wanted to use SQL 2008, but that’s the next project.

After installing Windows and SQL, I started putting together a checklist of items to do next. Brent Ozar has a great checklist and has been a great reference. Here is my list:

  1. System Center Operations Manager Agent
  2. Antivirus protection
  3. Quest’s LiteSpeed
  4. Service Packs, Service Packs, Service Packs.
  5. Set default file locations
  6. Move master DB
  7. Move TempDB
  8. Resize TempDB
  9. Move Model
  10. Move MSDB
  11. Load Testing