Windows Server 2016 – Storage Spaces Direct Hyper-converged [image credit: Microsoft]
With the release of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft is introducing Storage Spaces Direct (S2D), which enables building highly available Software-Defined Storage systems with local attached storage. This storage can be leveraged by VMs running on the same cluster (in hyper-converged mode) or the storage can be presented as a File Share (in disaggregated mode). The hyper-converged deployment scenario has the Hyper-V (compute) and Storage Spaces Direct (storage) components on the same cluster. Virtual machine’s files are stored on local CSVs. Once Storage Spaces Direct is configured and the CSV volumes are available, configuring and provisioning Hyper-V is the same process and uses the same tools that you would use with any other Hyper-V deployment on a failover cluster.
Windows Server 2016 will be released the next month said Microsoft the last month. Windows Server 2016 brings a lot of new features compared to the last Windows Server version for Hyper-V, networking and storage. In this topic I will try to convince you to move from prior Windows Server edition to Windows Server 2016 with eight reasons.
Microsoft published details of how Windows Server 2016 will be released and maintained, which includes a “Windows as a service” model of frequent operating system updates.
Windows Server 2016 will be launched at the Ignite conference (September 26 to 30 in Atlanta, Georgia); there will be three editions: Datacenter, Standard and Essentials.
With Windows Server 2016 we have gained some very welcome capabilities to do cost effective VDI deployments using all in box technologies. The main areas of improvement are in storage, RemoteFX and with Discrete Device Assignment for hardware pass-through to the VM. Let’s take a look at what’s possible now and think out loud on what solutions are possible as well as their benefits and drawbacks.
This is a comprehensive comparison of the leading products of the Software-Defined Storage market, featuring Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, VMware Virtual SAN and StarWind Virtual SAN. It provides numerous use cases, based on different deployment scales and architectures, because the mentioned products all have different aims. As the market is already large enough, the vendors used to dwell its different parts, but lately they entered a full-scale competition, adapting their products to meet general demand. This post is an analysis of how Microsoft, VMware and StarWind fare in in the Software-Defined Storage market right now. The approach is practical and all the statements are based on the experience of virtualization administrators and engineers from all over the world.
Personally, I am getting rather tired of the dismissive tone adopted by virtualization and cloud vendors when you raise the issue of disaster recovery. We previously discussed the limited scope of virtual systems clustering and failover: active-passive and active-active server clusters with data mirroring is generally inadequate for recovery from interruption events that have a footprint larger than a given equipment rack or subnetwork. Extending mirroring and cluster failover over distances greater than 80 kilometers is a dicey strategy, especially given the impact of latency and jitter on data transport over WAN links, which can create data deltas that can prevent successful application or database recovery altogether.
This is a research dedicated to practical implementation of Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct. It is a part of a series of posts about S2D and features a detailed comprehensive instruction on building a fault-tolerant 4-node setup. Storage Spaces Direct is the next step of Storage Spaces, meaning it is an extension of the current SDS for Windows Server. Storage Spaces Direct utilizes SMB3 for all intra-node interaction, including the latest SMB Direct and SMB Multichannel. The testing of S2D is hot right now, so StarWind is doing its part as well. This setup is meant to withstand node failures and the post reveals how exactly it performs in this respect.
This is a short summary on Storage Spaces Direct – the first true software-defined storage from Microsoft, its history and peculiarities. Software-defined storage is a concept, which involves storing data without dedicated hardware. This is an introduction to a series of posts dedicated to theoretical and practical research of S2D. The post is not a full description of the Storage Spaces Direct technology, more info is available on Microsoft resources. Our focus here is the actual problem that S2D solved for virtualization world, being truly independent from underlying hardware, as SDS should. Its predecessor, Clustered Storage Spaces, had a very serious hardware lock-in with its requirements for SAS fabrics, SAS switches and SAS JBODS. Thus, Storage Spaces Direct is an interesting technology to research.
Log-Structured File System is obviously effective, but not for everyone. As the “benefits vs. drawbacks” list shows, Log-Structuring is oriented on virtualization workload with lots of random writes, where it performs like a marvel. It won’t work out as a common file system for everyday tasks. Check out this overview and see what LSFS is all about.