Thursday, April 24, 2014

Configuring Storage Tiers on Windows Server 2012 R2 by GUI

Microsoft added a new function, storage tiers, in existing storage pool function in Windows Server 2012 R2.

With Storage tiers, you can create virtual disks that are comprised of two tiers of storage:
  • Solid-state drive tier for frequently accessed data
  • Hard disk drive tier for less-frequently accessed data
Storage Spaces transparently moves data at a subfile level between the two tiers, based on how frequently data is accessed.

What value does this change add?

Storage tiers combine the best attributes of solid-state drives and hard disk drives. They increase the performance of the mist used ("hot") data by moving it to solid-state drives, without sacrificing the ability to store large quantities of data on inexpensive hard disks.

Quote from What's New in Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 R2

Lab environment
  • 1 SSD with 100GB and 2 HDD with 500GB are installed in HV01

  • Create Storage Tier with a simple virtual hard disk in HV01 by GUI

1. On HV01, log in as administrator.
2. Launch "Server Manager".
3. On "Server Manager" window, click "File ans Storage Services".

4. Select "Storage Pools".

5. Next to "TASKS" of "STORAGE POOLS", click "New Storage Pool".

6. On "Before You Begin" window, click "Next".
7. On "Storage Poo Name" window, next to "Name", enter "DiskPool-01".

8. Click "Next".
9. On "Physical Disks", check all Physical Disks.

10. Click "Next".
11. On "Confirmation" window, click "Create".

12. On "Results" window, click "Close".
13. On "Server Manager", next to "VIRTUAL DISKS", click "To create a virtual disk, start the New Virtual Disk Wizard".

14. On "Before You Begin" window, click "Next".
15. On "Storage Pool" window, select "DiskPool-01", click "Next".

16. On "Virtual Disk Name" window, next to "Name", enter "vDisk01".
17. Check "Create storage tiers on this virtual disk".

18. Click "Next".
19. On "Storage Layout" window, select "Simple", click "Next".

Remark: Storage Tiers support "Two-way mirror" and "Three-way mirror". However, administrators have to add additional disks in servers.

20. On "Provisioning" window, click "Next".

21. On "Size" window, select "Maximum size" for "Faster Tier (SSD)" and "Standard Tier (HDD)".

22. Click "Next".
23. On "Confirmation" window, click "Create".

24. On "Results" window, leave default setting, click "Close"

25. On "Before You Begin" window, click "Next".
26. On "Server and Disk" window, select "Disk 8", click "Next".

27. On "Size" window, leave default volume size, click "Next".

28. On "Drive Letter or Folder' window, leave default drive letter, click "Next".

29. On "File System Settings" window, leave default settings, click "Next".

30. On "Confirmation" window, click "Create".

31. On "Results" window, click "Close".

It's easy for administrators to configure Storage Tiers through GUI in Windows Server 2012 R2. However, some settings like "Write-back cahe" and assign files to SSD tier must be performed by PowerShell.

Restore settings
1. On "Disks" of "Server Manager", next to "DISKS", select "vDisk01".
2. Next to "VOLUMES", right-click "D:", select "Delete Volume".

3. On "Delete Volume" window, click "Yes".

4. Go to "Storage Pools" of "Server Manager".
5. Next to "VIRTUAL DISKS", right-click "vDisk01", select "Delete Virtual Disk".

6. On "Delete Virtual Disk" window, click "Yes".

7. Next to "STORAGE POOLS", right-click "DiskPool-01", select "Delete Storage Pool".

When configuration completed, the storage tires related schedule jobs will change the status to "Ready".

For more information:
What's New in Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 R2

Storage Spaces: How to configure Storage Tiers with Windows Server 2012 R2

What's New in Defrag for Windows Server 2012/2012R2

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights!

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