Click here to close now.


API Journal Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Yakov Fain, XebiaLabs Blog, Jim Scott

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!  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!



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
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, will explore the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi's VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context w...
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new data-driven world, marketplaces reign supreme while interoperability, APIs and applications deliver un...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Electric power utilities face relentless pressure on their financial performance, and reducing distribution grid losses is one of the last untapped opportunities to meet their business goals. Combining IoT-enabled sensors and cloud-based data analytics, utilities now are able to find, quantify and reduce losses faster – and with a smaller IT footprint. Solutions exist using Internet-enabled sensors deployed temporarily at strategic locations within the distribution grid to measure actual line loads.
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, along with new ways to engage with users.
The IoT is upon us, but today’s databases, built on 30-year-old math, require multiple platforms to create a single solution. Data demands of the IoT require Big Data systems that can handle ingest, transactions and analytics concurrently adapting to varied situations as they occur, with speed at scale. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, chief strategy officer at Deep Information Sciences, will look differently at IoT data so enterprises can fully leverage their IoT potential. He’ll share tips on how to speed up business initiatives, harness Big Data and remain one step ahead by apply...
There will be 20 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet soon. What if we could control these devices with our voice, mind, or gestures? What if we could teach these devices how to talk to each other? What if these devices could learn how to interact with us (and each other) to make our lives better? What if Jarvis was real? How can I gain these super powers? In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, will show you!
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, will keynote at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target - this makes the integration of these separate pipelines and the coordination of software upd...
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.