A Brief on Storage Spaces

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This is a repost of a comment made on an Experts Exchange question.


Storage Spaces (SS) is pretty unique. It’s driven by Microsoft’s need to run data centres full of storage but not foot the bill for huge SAN arrays.

There is a Windows Server Catalogue page of approved hardware for a SS solution.

Our preference is for Quanta and DataON for non-Tier 1 solutions. We’ve done a lot of testing, and have deployed to on-premises and data centre based clients, prior to being confident in our solution set. That get’s expensive _fast_ as we do not deploy anything we’ve not tested first.

As can be seen, Dell has their products on the SS list and Microsoft chose them for their Cloud Platform System.

A lot of planning and foresight has gone into SS especially with the upcoming Windows Server 2016 feature set (should they all make it into RTM). There are a lot of big storage vendor aimed features that will allow us to deploy SS solutions sets at a fraction of the $/GB cost of the big box vendors.

As an FYI we have a solution set for IaaS vendors (Be the Cloud) that has been in production for close to two years now that works flawlessly. Backend is 10GbE to start with 40Gb SMB Direct (RDMA) and 56Gb SMB Direct (RDMA) over InfiniBand as options.

The solution can scale from 60 drives (4TB, 6TB, or 8GB NearLine SAS) in one 60-bay JBOD to three JBODs, four, or more. With three or more we get enclosure resilience. A full enclosure of drives can fail and SS keeps moving along until that enclosure is brought back up or replaced.

Storage Spaces’ cost per IOP, cost per GB/Second (throughput), and cost per GB can’t be compared.

Check out Storage Spaces Direct (S2D). Our v2 data centre product will be based on S2D with an all flash option providing _millions_ of IOPS to tenants. Storage fabric via RoCE while storage to compute would be RDMA via InfiniBand.


Further Reading:

There is a very strong economic motivation to get Storage Spaces right for Microsoft and for us. We’ve staked our company direction on Microsoft’s direction with storage while Microsoft’s driver is reducing the overall cost of storage in their Azure data centres.

We believe our Cloud Services Provider data centre backend products are some of the best available and Storage Spaces is a critical piece of the puzzle.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Cluster MVP
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Original Posted Here: MPECS Inc. Blog: A Brief on Storage Spaces

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