Fun with Storage Spaces Part 3

To continue on the same vein as my previous post: here is a great training link if you are looking to learn about Storage Spaces.

http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/training-courses/windows-server-2012-storage#?fbid=jlzV_3AvMgN

MVA is very under-used resource in my opinion – there are a ton of videos and other learning materials there that really need to see the light of day more often.  Spread the word!

Fun with Storage Spaces Part 2

What we are trying to achieve:

Setup a low cost enterprise solution
Create a storage environment with redundancy but provides decent throughput
Use home equipment to accomplish this (PC box, not Server class hardware)
Verify pros and cons of 3d party solutions (FreeNAS, ZFS, unRAID) compared to Storage Spaces

No added software or hardware needed if you use storage space
You can get support from Microsoft – not freeware with limited support
If you need to upgrade the OS it can be much easier to do the upgrade

Presence of Storage Spaces can be picked up by OS (Windows 8 picked up the storage space and imported it during one of our tests)

Basically: Is using Storage Spaces a viable alternative to other redundancy solutions.       .                           Cost and efficacy will be the primary factors examined

Equipment:

Computer Specs:

CPU: I7-3770
Mobo: Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H
RAM:  32GB Ram (4x8GB Ram chips of G.Skill Ripjaws 1866mhz)
HDD:  5x HDD 4TB     (Seagate ST4000VN000)
4x HDD 2TB     (Seagate ST2000DL003)
2x SSD 120GB (Kingston SH103S3/120G)
1x SSD 256GB (Samsung 840 Pro SSD)
NIC:    1x Dual Port Gigabit Ethernet PCI-E Card
SATA Port Extender: 2x SATA PCI Express Card (SI-PEX40064) (4hdds are                                         plugged into this
PSU:  1x EVGA 1300Watt PSU
Video Card: 1x MSI 7950 Twin Frozr III

Benchmark tools to be used

Crystal Disk Mark
Atto Bench32
IO Meter

Fun with Storage Spaces (Part 1 – Intro)

As I have said before: I need help.  Once again my addiction has gotten the better of me and I have decided to take on another interesting project.  However, this time I am not alone.  During this journey I will be working with 2 of my closest colleagues: Andre Potel and Jamie Belair.

This mission is quite interesting: with the price of storage dropping and their storage capacity increasing one new tool to Windows 8 (and Server 2012) seems to get more and more interesting: Storage Spaces.  Tape drives are expensive.  NAS boxes are expensive.  Why spend money if you don’t have to? (You can always buy different toys with your savings J ) Up until recently tapes and NAS devices were the best way to store data but is that still the case?

So here is the initial idea: Is it feasible to start using Storage Spaces as a backup system?  Over the next few articles we will look at speed of storage and the cost of storage, take these factors, and weight them against more traditional storage options like tape drives, NAS boxes and RAID systems.

If you have never heard of Storage Spaces below you will find some interesting links to get you started.  Over the next few weeks I will post a series of articles detailing this work. The next article will most likely focus on the hardware we are going to use.  Subsequent articles will follow detailing speed and functionality testing.

  1. Technet article on “Storage Spaces Overview”7
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831739.aspx
  2. Technet article ”Deploy Storage Spaces on a Stand-Alone Server”
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj822938.aspx