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Creating partitions on fastest area of disk

I am planning to migrate our database to newer faster disks. All the tables in the database are distributed on 10 x disk drives to optimize I/O. I am only using a small raw chunk, 4 GB, out of 36 GB on each disk. The rest of the space, 32 GB, will be unused. We are using Fiber Channel 36 GB 15K RPM drives from Seagate (ST336752FC). I'd like to create partitions on the fastest area on the disk from an I/O perspective. Most of the older documentations suggest that the middle area on the disk has the best I/O performance due to shorter seeks. New disk drives use ZBR technology and have higher density on the outer edge and claim to be faster on the outer edge. I am struggling with where I should place my partitions, on the outer edge or in the middle? Our environment is a medium to low OLTP I/O. My concern is if I place all chunks on the outer edge and if the disk heads algorithm always scans the entire disk, and since my partitions are sitting on the outer edge, will the heads average seek time increase? Considering all these constraints please advise me on the best route.

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While I understand that physical placement of data on disk does have an effect on I/O completion times, I wouldn't worry about this unless your database does very heavy I/O and I/O wait times are unacceptably long. Concentrate instead on proper SQL development and indexing strategies.

This was first published in July 2006

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