Storage Space & Virtual Disk


Storage Space

Is a new feature in Server 2012; that provides for a single server the same storage flexibility provided by a storage area network (SAN) by using inexpensive locally attached disks. Storage Spaces enables you to create storage pools from which you can provision storage as needed.

Basic Requirements:

· Windows Server 2012.

· One physical drive is required to create a storage pool; a minimum of two physical drives is required to create a resilient mirror storage space.

· A minimum of three physical drives is required to create a storage space with resiliency through parity or three-way mirroring.

· Drives must be un-partitioned and unformatted.

· Drives must have at least 10 GB capacity.

· Drives can be attached either internally or externally (individually or in a just-a-bunch-of-disks [JBOD] enclosure). The following bus technologies are supported:

SATA (not possible to use in a failover cluster)

SCSI (not supported in a failover cluster)

Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) arrays that support SCSI Enclosure Services (SES)

USB (external drives for local storage only; not possible to use in a failover cluster or recommended for file servers)

Steps to create Storage Space:

Note: Allocation Types:

· Automatic This is the default setting. For this allocation type, the capacity on drives is set automatically.

· Hot Spare Physical disks added as hot spares to a pool act as reserves that are not available for provisioning in the creation of virtual disks. If a failure occurs on a drive in a pool that has an available hot spare, the spare will be brought online to replace the failed drive.

Steps to Create Virtual Disk

· In Server Manager, choose File And Storage Services and then Storage Pools.

· Locate a storage pool (not a primordial pool) that you want to use to support the new virtual disk.

· Right-click the storage pool and select New Virtual Disk to start the New Virtual Disk Wizard

· On the first pages of the wizard, verify that the correct server and storage pool are selected and provide a name and description for the new virtual disk.

· On the Select The Storage Layout page, specify one of the following three data redundancy types for the virtual disk:

o Simple A simple virtual disk provides data striping across physical disks but does not provide redundancy. Administrators should not host irreplaceable user data on a simple space. A simple space maximizes capacity and throughput and therefore can be good for hosting temp files or easily re-created data at a reduced cost.

o Parity A parity virtual disk is similar to a hardware Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID5). Data, along with parity information, is striped across multiple physical disks. Parity enables Storage Spaces to continue to service read and write requests even when a drive has failed. A minimum of three physical disks is required for a parity virtual disk. Note that a parity disk cannot be used in a failover cluster.

o Mirror A mirror virtual disk maintains either two or three copies of the data it hosts: two data copies for two-way mirror spaces and three data copies for three-way mirror spaces. All data writes are repeated on all physical disks to ensure that the copies are always current. Mirror spaces are attractive due to their greater data throughput and lower access latency compared to parity disks.

· On the Specify The Provisioning Type page, choose one of the following provisioning types:

o Thin Thin provisioning is a mechanism that enables storage capacity to remain unallocated until datasets require the storage. You specify a maximum size for the virtual disk, and the capacity of the virtual disk grows as needed. Thin provisioning optimizes utilization of available storage, but it adds a few extra I/Os that can cause an occasional latency increase.

o Fixed A fixed provisioned space allocates storage capacity upfront, at the time the space is created.

· On the Specify The Size Of The Virtual Disk page, choose a size for the virtual disk.

· Confirm all the selections and then click Create

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