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. Only use Certified Microsoft-tested hardware for Storage Spaces
- 2. For clustered Spaces, only SAS HDDs or SDDs are permitted, avoid SATA-to-SAS interposers(adapters), this will cause failures.
- 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. Use as many columns as possible for the best performance.
- 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. 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. Do not use simple spaces unless resiliency is provided by the application or is unnecessary.
- 8. Do not use parity spaces for workloads that are predominantly random in nature.
- 9. Parity spaces are optimized for highly sequential / append-style workloads, such as archiving.
- 10.When using dedicated journal disks for parity spaces, deploy SSDs.
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.
Windows Server 2012 acts as a RAID controller for configuring a virtual disk based on the storage pool as software RAID. Storage Spaces RAID is similar to the concept of Software RAID, however is not quite an equivalent and delivers scalability, resiliency, and optimization that isn’t seen in the typical software RAID.
There are three ways to choose the resiliency type of a storage spaces, with Simple Spaces (no resiliency), Mirror Spaces, and Parity Spaces.
Presently the most recommended and deployed Storage Spaces is two-way Mirror Spaces, basically data striping over mirrored data sets or RAID 10. This can tolerate one disk failure and with three-way Mirror Spaces we can tolerate two disk failures. Although mirroring results in reduced overall capacity, reads on Mirror Spaces are very fast.
Storage Spaces can be utilized as an enterprise-class storage solution for Disaster Recovery, Archiving and Backup scenarios.
Simple Spaces: is not resilient to disk failures, it is best suited for temporary data and data that can easily be recreated, and for example video rendering files, image editor scratch files, and intermediary compiler object files.
Mirror Spaces: is well suited to storing a broad range of data, from a general-purpose file share to a VHD or VHDX library and especially usefully in markets that require high IOPS and maximum sustained I/O throughput.
Parity Spaces: can still be a choice for workloads that are almost exclusively read-based, highly sequential, and require resiliency, workloads that write data in large sequential append blocks (such as bulk backups) and is best suited for archival data and streaming media, such as music and videos.