Tiered Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 R2

Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 R2 have been upgraded hugely. There is now a concept of tiered storage.

So if you got a storage space that contains top end SSDs (Solid State Drives) and several “slower disks” (can’t believe we’re now referring to 15K disks as “slower”) Windows will now know this and tier the storage (think gold, silver and bronze for example) – whilst you’ve got manual control of the tiers you can just let Windows do it all for you.

Windows is now “aware” of your workload and will move frequently read data to the SSDs for you thus giving you significantly faster Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS). So combine this with something like Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Windows will move you gold image for pooled VDI to the top tier. If you’re running this over SMB (Server Message Block) scale out file servers with multi channel access and cache enabled Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs) you’re going to get some numbers that were frankly unthinkable without an army of SSDs, infiband networking and top end RAID controllers. All of the above can be built with Windows Server 2012 R2 and a Just a Bunch of Disks (JBOD) array – mental!

So you connect some Windows Server 2012 R2 Core nodes to a JBOD  with SSDs and “slower” storage, cluster them, implement a scale out file server, implement SMB multi-channel and some RSS capable NICs and you’ve got a highly scalable storage network for quite a lot less than you’d think!

I’ll put some links on the TLAs tomorrow ;-)

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Posted on 3 June, 2013, in Fabric, Hyper-V, Microsoft, Windows Server 2012. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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