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large system

Hello, I am starting to do the preliminary work for a system that my company will be implementing soon. I’m trying to figure out the best configuration for the database. It is currently 8 gigs, with around 8 million records. These are mainly spread between 2 tables Ctn and CtnHist. Ctn has roughly 1.2 million records and gets around 8 reads, 3 writes per second. CtnHist has roughly 6.4 million records and gets mostly writes. I’m just guessing on the read/write numbers. Is there a way to get those form the db? Anyway, the system will be nearly doubling in size over the next year. We are going to move to db to a new server (most likely a Dell PowerEdge). My question is, how much much RAM should I get, and what would be the optimal raid configuration. The system it is on right now is a RAID 5, but i have heard that that isn’t the fastest way to set it up. We will be doing nightly backups on this data (Veritas Backup Exec), and it is mirrored real-time to a second "twin" server with DoubleTake. Please let me know if you need anymore information. Thank you very much, Ben
for get RAID configuration, whats the point in talking RAID performance if you only have a little scooter engine? get lots of spindles, even thoug your disk load looks light,
if you are planing to grow, get a reasonable number of disks into the budget. first. if you can, do this on SQL2005 64-bit version, a few people have reported problems moving an existing 32-bit S2K to S2K5 and or 64-bit, but did no analysis of the underlying issue, then you can use as much memory as your OS, without worrying about the S2K 32-bit memory version issues.
get memory to fit the system, ie, if PowerEdge 2800, put 6 1GB DIMM in, if PE 6800, put 8 1GB DIMM (it can take up to 16 DIMM) on disks, my blanket rec. is to start at 4 internal disks, 2 racks of 14 disks in the dual channel SCSI storage unit, or even 8-10 disk per rack. have these disks spread across 5-6 SCSI channels.
then you will find it really doesn’t matter raid level you are in (5 vs 10)

All right, i know this is going to sound ignorant, but what are spindles? Is that just another term for hard drives? I’m somewhat limited in my knowledge of this whole thing. I mainly do software programming, but have been brought into this because we don’t have a dba at our company. Do you have a recommendation of what type of rack (model) to use, or a link showing a typical setup of a system like this? Thanks for your patience, Ben