dir goes to SATA.

The secondary task for this server is to be an IMAP and mail server. We will be using dovecot, and shared maildir folders with ten thousands of messages. I'm not sure where to put the maildir folders, and what options to use for

unless you have tens of thousands of mail users, put it anywhere ;) it will work fine.

#1 maildir stores each message in a separate file. I think I need to dedicate a separate disk slice for maildirs and decrease block size on it. How big should the blocksize be?

i have everything (/) on single partition on most of my servers, including those having lots of mail.

i too use dovecot and maildirs.

default fragment size of 2K is fine, average mailfile size is not that small to bother making smaller fragments.

#2 searching in messages is a common operation. Possibly read speed is very most important. But since there will be thousands of files to open, seek operation is also important. On which RAID array should I put mail dirs?

dovecot do make indexes and scans all files only when rebuilding them.

Small SAS or bigger SATA array?

assuming you configured your RAID1+0 properly it will give you MUCH more performance from 10 disks, than RAID1 on 2 - a bit faster - drives.

IMHO you wasted money for SAS drives, simply having SATA only system could be enough.

just keep your SAS drives for OS, ports, sources, logs, whatever, while /home on your big RAID1+0 volume.

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