Manage Storage Spaces Direct in Windows Server 2016 with Windows Admin Center (Preview)

Hi! I’m Cosmos. Follow me @cosmosdarwin on Twitter. At Microsoft Ignite 2017, we teased the next-generation in-box management experience for Storage Spaces Direct and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure built on Windows Admin Center, known then as ‘Project Honolulu’. Until now, this experience has required an Insider Preview build of Windows Server 2019. The most consistent feedback we’ve… Read more

It’s Gone To Plaid: Storage Replica and Chelsio iWARP Performance

Hi folks, Ned here again. A few years ago, I demonstrated using Storage Replica as an extreme data mover, not just as a DR solution; copying blocks is a heck of lot more efficient than copying files. At the time, having even a single NVME drive and RDMA networking was gee-wiz. Well, times have changed,… Read more

Storage Spaces Direct with Cavium FastLinQ® 41000

Hello, Claus here again. I am very excited about how the RDMA networking landscape is evolving. We took RDMA mainstream in Windows Server 2012 when we introduced SMB Direct and even more so in Windows Server 2016 where Storage Spaces Direct is leveraging SMB Direct for east-west traffic. More partners than ever offer RDMA enabled… Read more

Understanding SSD endurance: drive writes per day (DWPD), terabytes written (TBW), and the minimum recommended for Storage Spaces Direct

Hi! I’m Cosmos. Follow me on Twitter @cosmosdarwin. Background Storage Spaces Direct in Windows Server 2016 features a built-in, persistent, read and write cache to maximize storage performance. You can read all about it at Understanding the cache in Storage Spaces Direct. In all-flash deployments, NVMe drives typically cache for SATA/SAS SSDs; in hybrid deployments,… Read more

Storage Spaces Direct with Intel® Optane™ SSD DC P4800X

Hello, Claus here again. Today Intel is announcing the Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X device family, and of course Windows Server 2016 Storage Spaces Direct will support this device. The P4800X device promises better latency and better endurance, so we took these devices for a spin in a Storage Spaces Direct configuration, comparing them to the… Read more

Deep Dive: The Storage Pool in Storage Spaces Direct

Hi! I’m Cosmos. Follow me on Twitter @cosmosdarwin. Review The storage pool is the collection of physical drives which form the basis of your software-defined storage. Those familiar with Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 or 2012R2 will remember that pools took some managing – you had to create and configure them, and then manage… Read more

Don’t do it: consumer-grade solid-state drives (SSD) in Storage Spaces Direct

// This post was written by Dan Lovinger, Principal Software Engineer. Howdy, In the weeks since the release of Windows Server 2016, the amount of interest we’ve seen in Storage Spaces Direct has been nothing short of spectacular. This interest has translated to many potential customers looking to evaluate Storage Spaces Direct. Windows Server has… Read more

Squeezing hyper-convergence into the overhead bin, for barely $1,000/server: the story of Project Kepler-47

The Challenge In the Windows Server team, we tend to focus on going big. Our enterprise customers and service providers are increasingly relying on Windows as the foundation of their software-defined datacenters, and needless to say, our hyperscale public cloud Azure does too. Recent big announcements like support for 24 TB of memory per server… Read more

Volume resiliency and efficiency in Storage Spaces Direct

Hello, Claus here again. One of the most important aspects when creating a volume is to choose the resiliency settings. The purpose of resiliency is to provide resiliency in case of failures, such as failed drive or a server failure. It also enables data availability when performing maintenance, such as server hardware replacement or operating… Read more

Deep Dive: Volumes in Storage Spaces Direct

Hi! I’m Cosmos. You can follow me on Twitter @cosmosdarwin. Note: This blog was updated on January 6th 2017 to align more closely to official documention. Quick Review In Storage Spaces Direct, volumes can derive their fault tolerance from mirroring, parity encoding, or mirror-accelerated parity. Briefly… Mirroring is similar to distributed, software-defined RAID-1. It provides… Read more