Windows Storage Space Direct

Handian Sudianto 4,306 Reputation points
2024-05-24T03:18:11.75+00:00

Hello,

If I read some articles and videos about Storage Space Direct, we can combine all local storages into one storage with redundancy (mirror & parity).

So if from redundancy can be achieve from storage space side, it still needed we create raid from the storage side? Or from storage side we create simple disk or RAID-0 disk with no redundancy?

Windows Server
Windows Server
A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.
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A Windows technology providing a hypervisor-based virtualization solution enabling customers to consolidate workloads onto a single server.
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  1. Ian Xue (Shanghai Wicresoft Co., Ltd.) 32,156 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor
    2024-05-27T04:16:12.59+00:00

    Hi Handian,

    Hope you're doing well.

    Storage Space Direct is a feature in Windows Server that allows you to pool local storage resources across multiple servers, creating a highly available and scalable storage solution. Let's explore the differences between "Storage Spaces Direct" and "RAID":

    1. RAID combines multiple drives into a drive array with increased capacity and improved performance. There are different RAID levels, including RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10/01. "Hardware RAID" uses a dedicated RAID card to manage drives, providing excellent performance but at a higher cost. It's commonly used in servers. "Software RAID" can be achieved through the operating system. It combines drives into a logical volume using software-based techniques. Software RAID can provide data redundancy but may impact disk subsystem performance by about 30%.
    2. S2D is a software-defined storage solution that pools local storage resources across multiple servers. It provides fault tolerance by distributing data across servers and drives. Unlike traditional RAID, S2D doesn't require specialized hardware. Instead, it uses commodity hardware. S2D is more flexible and scalable than traditional RAID, especially in hyper-converged environments.
    3. In addition, both S2D and RAID offer redundancy. S2D's resiliency modes (Mirror, Parity, Erasure Coding) provide similar protection against drive failures. S2D can achieve good performance, especially when using SSDs. However, hardware RAID may still outperform S2D in certain scenarios. S2D is cost-effective because it doesn't require specialized RAID cards. It uses existing hardware. S2D can be managed through PowerShell or Windows Admin Center, while RAID configurations often involve BIOS/UEFI settings and RAID card management tools.

    In summary, if you're looking for a flexible, cost-effective, and scalable solution, consider using Storage Spaces Direct. However, if you have specific performance requirements or existing hardware RAID infrastructure, evaluate both options based on your needs.

    Best Regards,

    Ian Xue


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  2. Net Runner 595 Reputation points
    2024-05-29T14:31:10.2066667+00:00

    In order to use Storage Spaces Direct you have to make sure there is no RAID present in your servers. RAID controllers are not supported, so even if you expose your physical disks as separate RAID0 instances (a popular workaround on some RAID controllers), that won't work. You must have all your storage connected to the HBA controller in order to run Storage Spaces Direct.

    https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/storage-spaces/storage-spaces-direct-hardware-requirements#drives

    A valid alternative to keeping your hardware RAID and having both local and network storage redundancy is using virtual SAN software instead of S2D. In this case, you can use local RAID arrays on each server and use the layout you prefer while mirroring your storage over the network to build a cluster.

    https://www.starwindsoftware.com/vsan

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