Formatting drives

RichardMGreenRichardMGreen Posts: 19 Bronze 1
edited August 31, 2023 8:34AM in General Forum
Hi all

We're just having a new server built (it will be a VM) and I've been asked about formatting the drives for images and clones.
We'll be keeping the images and clones on separate drives away from the main databases.
Images will be on drive I:
Clones will be on drive R:
User databases will be on drive D

Are there any recommended/specific formatting requirements for the images/clones drives?



Best Answer

  • Eddie DEddie D Posts: 1,779 Rose Gold 5
    Hi Richard, thank you for your forum post.

    There are no specific formatting requirements for the drives you wish to host your images upon.  The machine that hosts the SQL Clone Agents just require security permissions to create the image and be able to read the image files created.

    As for clones, there are no options to specify different drive locations when you create your clones.  The database files are created in the install directory for SQL Server in a clones folder, for example:
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL15.SQL2019\MSSQL\DATA\clones

    Many Thanks
    Eddie Davis
    Senior Product Support Engineer
    Redgate Software Ltd
    Email: [email protected]


  • Hi Eddie

    Thanks for the info.


  • Sergio1Sergio1 Posts: 11 New member

    These steps provide a general guideline, but the specific options and steps might vary depending on your operating system and the tools available. Always double-check and confirm your actions to avoid accidental data loss.

  • murnukermurnuker Posts: 1 New member

    Hello Richard,

    When configuring a new server, especially for storing images, clones, and databases, there are several considerations for drive formatting. Here are some general recommendations:

    1. File System Choice: For Windows servers, NTFS is usually the recommended file system due to its support for large files and robust permissions and security features. If you're using a Linux-based VM, ext4 or XFS are common choices.

    2. Allocation Unit Size: For drives storing large files such as images and clones, you might consider using a larger allocation unit size when formatting. This can improve performance when dealing with large files, as it reduces the overhead of managing many small blocks. However, larger allocation unit sizes can lead to more wasted space ('slack') with smaller files.

    3. Drive Capacity Planning: Ensure that each drive has enough capacity to handle your expected data growth over time. Clones and images, in particular, can take up a significant amount of space.

    4. RAID Configuration: If applicable, consider RAID configurations that provide redundancy and performance benefits. RAID 1, 5, or 10 are common choices, depending on your needs for redundancy versus storage capacity.

    5. Backup and Recovery: Beyond the formatting, ensure you have a robust backup and recovery strategy for your images, clones, and databases. Regular backups and tested recovery plans are crucial.

    6. Monitoring and Maintenance: Implement a system for monitoring disk usage and performance. Regular maintenance such as defragmentation (for HDDs) and trim operations (for SSDs) can help maintain drive performance.

    Remember, these are general guidelines. The specific requirements can vary based on the exact use case and the environment of your server. It's always a good idea to consult with your IT team or a systems administrator for recommendations tailored to your specific setup and needs.

    Best regards, Michael

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