Ask the Expert

Cons of setting up DC/Exchange server with a RAID 5 array

Is it possible to configure and set up a primary domain controller/Exchange Server 2003 (as a new domain) RAID 5?

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Yes, it is technically possible to set up your server to use a RAID 5 array. That said, I would recommend against your proposed configuration for the following reasons:
  • Collocating a domain controller (I am assuming you meant to say "domain controller" since PDCs are an NT 4.0 entity and do not exist in Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 Active Directory environments) with an Exchange server is not recommended. Cons of doing this include security implications (i.e., Exchange administrators have right to "log on locally"), negative performance impact and recoverability in the face of a disaster.

  • Optimizing an Exchange server necessitates that the database be located on one set of spindles, the transaction log files on another set of spindles and finally, the binaries and other files on a third set of spindles. Having everything on one array will be slow.


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Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Reference Center: Monitoring and performance
  • Reference Center: Data management and storage


  • This was first published in June 2005

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