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The basic building block of a Windows Server 2012 clustered storage spaces deployment is a small collection of servers(nodes), typically two to four, and a set of shared Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) just-a-bunch-of-disks (JBOD) enclosures. The DataON Storage enclosures are certified for Storage Spaces and provide the disk-shelf JBOD storage for Storage Spaces deployments.


To build a resilient storage solution it is important to have redundant paths from the server to the storage. The DataON JBODs should be connected to all the servers either directly through a SAS switch, where each server has redundant paths to all the disks in each JBOD enclosure. The below diagram depicts how a standalone server can be connected to two JBODs in such a fashion that the system would be resilient to path-, HBA-, Disk-, I/O-Module- and JBOD failure.


Storage Spaces delivers a new category of highly capable storage solutions to all Windows customer segments at dramatically lower price-points and maximizes operational simplicity. As with all storage deployments, there are a certain considerations to be taken into account.


Here is the Top 10 Storage Spaces best practices:
  1. 1. Only use Certified Microsoft-tested hardware for Storage Spaces
  2. 2. For clustered Spaces, only SAS HDDs or SDDs are permitted, avoid SATA-to-SAS interposers(adapters), this will cause failures.
  3. 3. Set your interleave to be at least as large as the most common I/O size from the applications that will be reading from and writing to the storage space. If you are unsure, use the default interleave size of 256 KB.
  4. 4. Use as many columns as possible for the best performance.
  5. 5. When mixing disk types in the same storage pool, utilize manual disk selection (-PhysicalDisksToUse parameter) when creating a virtual disk, or separate different disk types into separate storage pools.
  6. 6. To increase overall disk throughput is to increase the # of IO channels with multiple disk HBAs (ie., "Host Bus Adapters") and spread IOs across a large number of fast disk spindles.
  7. 7. Do not use simple spaces unless resiliency is provided by the application or is unnecessary.
  8. 8. Do not use parity spaces for workloads that are predominantly random in nature.
  9. 9. Parity spaces are optimized for highly sequential / append-style workloads, such as archiving.
  10. 10.When using dedicated journal disks for parity spaces, deploy SSDs.

Note:
Storage Spaces supports disks using SAS and SATA interfaces.  However, SAS is considered enterprise-grade quality, with the major difference, SAS drives have dual paths to connect to, as opposed to just one for SATA. This feature allows SAS drives (HDD or SSD) to be used as storage in clustered and high-availability environments to provide resiliency to a single path failure. We recommend utilizing dual-port SAS drives when possible and avoiding interposers. ––An Interposer is a conversion device that sits between a SATA drive and a SAS connection to provide a 2nd path in order to provide dual-path connectivity–– The interposer can keep costs lows although it is another point of failure and does not guarantee enterprise-grade reliability.

 

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