Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Scott Allen, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Kevin Benedict, Anders Wallgren

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, API Journal, Silverlight, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Microsoft Cloud: Blog Post

Right-Size IT Budgets with Windows Server 2012 "Storage Spaces"

SAN-like Storage Capabilities with Commodity Hardware in Windows Server 2012

Very Cool! How can I build my own "Storage Spaces"?
"Storage Spaces" can be easily configured locally or remotely on servers running Windows Server 2012 or Hyper-V Server 2012.  Pick your tools - Use the new Server Manager GUI management tool, or a new set of 74 PowerShell Storage Cmdlets if you're more inclined towards the command-line.  In my case, I find myself constantly provisioning and re-provisioning storage for my lab environment, so I prefer PowerShell 3.0 as my tool of choice.

Setting up a new Storage Space involves three components: A storage pool that serves as a container, or resource pool, of your physical disks; A virtual disk, or LUN as we call it in the SAN world, that carves out a portion of your raw capacity in the storage pool to present as a disk to the operating system; and a volume, which becomes the formatted space that we can mount as a filesystem and, ultimately, store our files within.

Let's step through the basics of configuring each of these items one-by-one using the new PowerShell 3.0 Cmdlets:

  1. Grab a "bunch of disks" into a new PowerShell object variable, such as $PhysicalDisks:

    $PhysicalDisks = Get-StorageSubSystem -FriendlyName "Storage Spaces*" | Get-PhysicalDisk -CanPool $True

    This command identifies all physical disks that are not currently part of an existing Storage Pool on the server and stores them in the $PhysicalDisks object array. If we look at the contents of the $PhysicalDisks variable now, we'll see an enumeration of each physical disk as follows:


  2. Using our new $PhysicalDisks object array, now we'll create a new storage pool named "MyStoragePool01" and then pass this newly created storage pool down the PowerShell object pipeline to the command line in Step 3.

    New-StoragePool -FriendlyName MyStoragePool01 -StorageSubsystemFriendlyName "Storage Spaces*" -PhysicalDisks $PhysicalDisks |
  3. Using the newly created storage pool that we passed from Step 2 into the PowerShell object pipeline ... create a new 100GB virtual disk named "MyVirtualDisk01" that is thin provisioned.  Pass this newly created virtual disk down the PowerShell object pipeline to Step 4. 

    New-VirtualDisk -FriendlyName MyVirtualDisk01 -Size 100GB -ProvisioningType Thin

    Note that, by default, a "Simple" virtual disk will be created with no disk fault tolerance.  You can also use the -ResiliencySettingName parameter with the New-VirtualDisk Cmdlet to choose either "Mirrored" or "Parity" virtual disk configurations for fault tolerant scenarios.  Of course, choosing a fault tolerant scenario will cause a higher volume of disk writes to occur, which can impact overall performance - so you'll want to do some testing with your hardware and applications.  In my testing, Mirrored provides the best balance of performance and fault tolerance for me and also works nicely with the file system resiliency features in the new ReFS filesystem for large data volumes.
  4. Using the newly created virtual disk that we passed from Step 3 into the PowerShell object pipeline ... initialize the new disk, create a new partition mounted with the next available drive letter and format a volume within the new partition.

    Initialize-Disk -PassThru | New-Partition -AssignDriveLetter -UseMaximumSize | Format-Volume

Done! If you didn't quite catch it as we were going through steps 2, 3 and 4 above ... those commands are all part of one continuous command line! That's right ... in one line of code, we created a new storage pool, virtual disk and formatted volume!  PowerShell 3.0 ROCKS! :-)

Your Turn ... Build Your Own "Storage Spaces"!
As part of our FREE Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" study program, we have a structured set of step-by-step study materials and lab exercises for watching, learning and implementing Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012.  Join us and become our next "Early Expert" at http://EarlyExperts.net!  When you're ready to try the Storage Spaces lab, you'll find it here.

What's Next?
In this article, we walked through usage scenarios and step-by-step examples of configuring SAN-like storage solutions on commodity hardware using Windows Server 2012 Storage Spaces.  To continue your learning on Windows Server 2012, check out these resources next ...

How Are You Planning to Use "Storage Spaces"?

Have you found an interesting use case for Storage Spaces and/or PowerShell 3.0 in your shop?  Be sure to share your story in the comments below!

HTH,

Keith

Build Your Lab! Build Your Lab! Download Windows Server 2012
Build Your Lab in the Cloud! Don’t Have a Lab? Build Your Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure Virtual Machines
Join our "Early Experts" study group! Want to Get Certified? Join our Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Study Group

More Stories By Keith Mayer

Keith Mayer is a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft focused on Windows Infrastructure, Data Center Virtualization, Systems Management and Private Cloud. Keith has over 17 years of experience as a technical leader of complex IT projects, in diverse roles, such as Network Engineer, IT Manager, Technical Instructor and Consultant. He has consulted and trained thousands of IT professionals worldwide on the design and implementation of enterprise technology solutions.

Keith is currently certified on several Microsoft technologies, including System Center, Hyper-V, Windows, Windows Server, SharePoint and Exchange. He also holds other industry certifications from IBM, Cisco, Citrix, HP, CheckPoint, CompTIA and Interwoven.

Keith is the author of the IT Pros ROCK! Blog on Microsoft TechNet, voted as one of the Top 50 "Must Read" IT Blogs.

Keith also manages the Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Challenge - a FREE online study group for IT Pros interested in studying and preparing for certification on Windows Server 2012. Join us and become the next "Early Expert"!

Comments (1)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
industrial company for a multi-year contract initially valued at over $4.0 million. In addition to DataV software, Bsquare will also provide comprehensive systems integration, support and maintenance services. DataV leverages advanced data analytics, predictive reasoning, data-driven diagnostics, and automated orchestration of remediation actions in order to improve asset uptime while reducing service and warranty costs.
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...