Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Cognitive Computing , 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.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...