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Hands-On: Working with Storage Spaces in Windows 8

  1. #1


    Posts : 22,578
    64-bit Windows 10

    Hands-On: Working with Storage Spaces in Windows 8


    Storage Spaces is an exciting new storage virtualization technology that is new for Windows 8. For background, you can read my prior post on Windows 8 storage solutions. In this post I’ll build on this topic and give you a walk-though demo of how to create and configure Storage Spaces and also include information on advanced tools for Storage Spaces management.


    Background

    Storage Spaces are built on storage hardware virtualization called Storage Pools. Storage Pools are collections of physical drives and are used by Storage Spaces for storage. A Storage Space is a logical drive object that uses virtualized storage from a Storage Pool.


    Storage Spaces Demo

    Creating a Storage Space is essentially a two-step process:

    1. Creation of a Storage Pool. You select which available drives on your system will be used to create a virtualized pool of disk storage for use with Storage Spaces.
    2. Creation of one or more Storage Spaces. Creating a Storage Space involves choosing a name, drive letter, resiliency options, and capacity. You can create multiple Storage Spaces in a single Storage Pool.


    Here’s a video that will give you a walk-trough of the following:

    1. Launching the “Storage Spaces” control panel
    2. Creating a Storage Pool
    3. Creating two Storage Spaces in the Storage Pool
    4. Deleting Storage Spaces and the Storage Pool to reclaim the physical drives



    As you can see, Windows 8 provides an easy experience for the creation and management of Storage Spaces. But what if you are more of the command-line kind of person?


    PowerShell Management for Storage Spaces


    If you need to automate the creation and management of storage spaces, there’s full support in WMI (Windows Management and Instrumentation) for the management of Storage Spaces. There are also several PowerShell cmdlets for Storage Spaces, so that you can manage Storage Spaces from PowerShell. This PowerShell integration provides a convenient way to either use the command line or scripts to configure Storage Pools and Storage Spaces. While a deep dive into PowerShell and WMI for Storage Spaces is beyond the scope of this blog post, you can get lots of detail HERE and HERE.

    In order to give you an idea of how PowerShell can be used to manage Storage Spaces, I’ve outlined a simplified PowerShell command sequence below. The following commands would be used to perform the tasks that I showed in the video above: (partition management steps removed for clarity)


    # Before this, identify physical disks to use, remove existing partitions

    # Get disks that have been prepared for inclusion in Storage Pool
    $pd = Get-PhysicalDisk –CanPool $True

    # Create the storage pool
    New-StoragePool -PhysicalDisks $pd –StorageSubSystemFriendlyName *Spaces* -FriendlyName “Buffalo 3T USB 3.0 Drives”

    # Create Storage Space 1 using newly created storage pool
    New-VirtualDisk -FriendlyName “Storage Space 1” -StoragePoolFriendlyName “Buffalo 3T USB 3.0 Drives”
    -ResiliencySettingName Mirror -ProvisioningType Thin –Size 2.72TB

    # Create Storage Space 2 using newly created storage pool
    New-VirtualDisk -FriendlyName “Storage Space 2” -StoragePoolFriendlyName “Buffalo 3T USB 3.0 Drives”
    -ResiliencySettingName Mirror -ProvisioningType Thin –Size 2.72TB

    # Now create and format partitions on Storage Space logical drives


    More...




      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    I've seen this, I just haven't had a chance to try it out. Hmmmm. Thanks Brink!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there.

    Great stuff -- I'm currently using Spanned volumes but this is MUCH better.

    However designing backup and recovery strategies for this is NOT so simple -- anybody got ideas --it's super dooper being able to re-arrange storage conveniently but we still need to be able to take timely and reliable BACKUPS and backing up several TB of storage pools might not be so simple.

    I've posted another thread on backup strategies for large volumes of data if anybody has any ideas as to how to perform this task adequately.

    For example I currently have 2 physical volumes spanned as "F" and allocation is about 3.5 TB.

    Backing up as an entire volume using classical backup pgms is a mess -- I'd need to back up to approx. 6 * 500 MB external drives -- and then on restore finding which volume has the data to restore is also a real pain. (At the moment I haven't used much disk space of this set - but I will be copying my music library to it soon).

    With storage pools this type of problem will exist as well. (I'm currently using Spanned volumes as I have some music libraries larger than the physical size of rge drives and most music cataloguing type programs don't allow the music folder to exceed one PHYSICAL disk volume -- but spanning Windows gets round the restriction as it sees the spanned volume set as ONE PHYSICAL volume.

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails span1.png   span2.png  
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    That's some setup Jimbo. How many drives are in that 3-TB Array?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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