Category Archives: S2D

Storage Spaces Direct: building a fault-tolerant 4-node setup

Storage Spaces Direct picks up the baton from Microsoft Clustered Storage Spaces, meaning it is a true SDS technology for Windows Server 2016. The testing of S2D is in full swing right now, and in this research, we provide a systematic guide on a practical deployment of a fault-tolerant 4-node setup.

SOFS + Storage Spased Direct

Enterprises seek for ultimate performance, total fault-tolerance and availability to secure their business continuity. Thus, the 4-node setup which ensures exceptional uptime even in the case of multiple node failures seems to be the right choice.

The setup consists of 9 detailed steps: from Windows Server roles and features installation to the node failure test executed with our own specialized tool called Storage Data Corruption Test.

In the result, we have successfully built an S2D 4-node setup, which can withstand a node crash. It proves to be a good example of Enterprise-level infrastructure ensuring high uptime and performance due to overprovisioning in hardware resources.

Read the full article here: https://www.starwindsoftware.com/blog/microsoft-storage-spaces-direct-4-node-setup-2 to learn more about the setup process and detailed failover check results.

Software-Defined Storage: StarWind Virtual SAN vs Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct vs VMware Virtual SAN

The article provides comparison of three leading products of the Software-Defined Storage market: Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, VMware Virtual SAN and StarWind Virtual SAN. There are several use cases considered, based on the deployment scales and architectures.

Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct and VMware Virtual SAN are a perfect choice for bigger SMBs and entry-level enterprises because their licensing is reasonable for typical of these businesses infrastructure types. These solutions are not good with smaller SMBs and ROBOs, being too expensive and a performance overkill for them. The per-host licensing is too expensive for the hyperconverged environment of very big enterprises. Microsoft can expose only SMB3 reasonably well, while VMware “speaks” iSCSI and NFS, which prevents them from creating single shared storage pool in a multi-tenant environment. For the databases scenarios implementation, Microsoft and VMware have specific financial and technical issues.

StarWind Virtual SAN requires minimalistic two-node setup and provides 24/7 support, which makes it a perfect choice for small SMBs and ROBO. It has flexible licensing, to cover different deployment scenarios. StarWind utilizes the majority of industry-standard uplink protocols, so it can work with vSphere and Hyper-V environments simultaneously and provide a single pool of storage instead of separated “islands”. For datacenters, StarWind is good both in its software form as a “data mover” to create the virtual shared storage pool, and complete “ready nodes” for HCI or storage-only infrastructure. StarWind supports non-virtualized Windows Server environments, properly supports all possible storage protocols, and can provide high performance shared storage.

In general, StarWind Virtual SAN rather complements Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct and VMware Virtual SAN, than competes them. It fills the gaps for Microsoft or VMware-based infrastructures, providing them with the features to fine-tune different types of architectures.

Read the detailed comparison here: https://www.starwindsoftware.com/blog/software-defined-storage-starwind-virtual-san-vs-microsoft-storage-spaces-direct-vs-vmware-virtual-san

Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct

Microsoft has always been targeting mainly SMB and ROBO space and now they’ve decided to aim at Enterprise, namely datacenters, Internet Service Providers, Cloud Hosting, etc. How well do they fare?

Problem was, up to Windows Server 2016, Microsoft had no real Software-Defined Storage, meaning it relied completely on SAS hardware. Not much “software defined” there. Enterprises couldn’t go with poor scalability of SAS with their several feet long cables and a literal headache of stretching the infrastructure as far as the next building.

56         A shared JBOD Scale-Out File Server (Image Credit: Microsoft)

In Windows Server 2016, Microsoft has designed a technology called Storage Spaces Direct, which is really SDS. What’s really good about it is the fact that the same engine can be utilized for various business sizes. There is no hardware lock-in, no distance or topology limitations. Having dropped hardware lock-in and accepting commodity components, the new technology also cuts down hardware expense and associated management costs as well. Besides, it is much easier for IT specialists to master one technology than dig into multiple different ones. How? Check out the full article here https://blog.starwindsoftware.com/microsoft-storage-spaces-direct/  and see how well S2D fares.