Data Center Tech Blog

Storage Spaces Direct delivers real benefits for IT. But how do you know the right configuration from the hundreds of available options? At Ignite 2017, we’ll share our deep knowledge around how to choose the right storage devices.

Peter Plamondon

Director, Strategic Partner Ecosystem

If you’re reading this, you care about storage; if you also work with Windows Server®, it’s been an exciting time with Storage Spaces Direct shipped with Windows Server 2016.

Software-Defined Storage with Storage Spaces Direct

Storage Spaces Direct puts software-defined storage capabilities in the hands of enterprise IT, included with Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Edition. Beyond the geeky coolness of software-defined storage, Storage Spaces Direct delivers real benefits for IT: highly available, highly scalable software-defined storage at a fraction of the cost of traditional SAN or NAS arrays.[1]

  • No single point of failure – Locally attached storage, aggregated by Storage Spaces Direct with automatic data replication, ensures no single point of failure.
  • Highly scalable at low cost – The ability to aggregate locally attached storage across the nodes in a failover cluster enables customers to create very large and highly available pools of storage from types of devices which could not be leveraged before, such as inexpensive SATA SSD, or cutting edge solutions like NVMe™ flash, which must plug directly into the PCIe bus inside the machine.[2]

SQL Server 2016 supports Storage Spaces Direct, delivering compelling benefits: speed, capacity, resilience and availability, and cost.

  • Speed – Storage Spaces Direct takes advantage of the fastest storage devices currently available, NVMe SSDs that plug directly into the PCIe bus, so Storage Spaces Direct can access cached data directly with extremely low latency.2
  • Capacity – By aggregating locally attached storage across the nodes in a cluster, the capacity available in a single machine is multiplied. This gives a very interesting amount of capacity without sacrificing performance significantly.2
  • Resilience and Availability – By striping the data not only across multiple devices in one node, but across the nodes in the cluster, Storage Spaces Direct is resilient to the failure of any single component, including one or more of the nodes themselves.2
  • Cost – pulling the storage into the servers themselves achieves significant cost savings, while the resiliency features of Storage Spaces Direct make this an extremely reliable platform. The storage may also be arranged in performance tiers, with bulk data residing in less expensive SATA drives, and data with stringent performance needs residing on SSD or NVMe storage where the performance shines.2

How to Tame the Flexibility of Storage Spaces Direct

Storage Spaces Direct gives you flexibility to use a combination of storage devices to fit your requirement. You can use NVMe, SAS or SATA; SSDs or HDDs; a two-tier configuration with Caching and Capacity tiers, or a three-tier Multi-Resilient Volume (MRV) with Caching, Performance and Capacity tiers.

From our product portfolio, there are over 100 possible combinations to choose from! However, what configuration should you use? How should you decide?

That’s our mission for Ignite 2017: to share the deep knowledge we’ve developed around choosing the right Storage Spaces Direct configuration.

What You’ll See from HGST and Booth # 857 at Ignite 2017

If you’re at Ignite 2017, come to my theater session:

Matching Storage Spaces Direct configurations to your workload
2:10pm Tuesday, Expo Theater 3.

That’s just a few steps away from the HGST booth # 857 where you can learn more.

You’re not attending Ignite 2017? That’s OK – after the event I’ll have blog posts covering all the materials we shared at Ignite.

Pull Back the Curtain on OEM Configurations

We work closely with our OEM partners to share our knowledge as they define the storage configurations for their products, and at Ignite 2017 we’ll drill down on a few of those configurations to highlight what makes them great.

We must keep some surprises for the show, but afterward we’ll share that information on this blog.

Datascape: Edge to Cloud

Most people don’t spend time thinking about the role of storage in the consumer and social services we all use. Most people also don’t think about how storage is used in the Internet of Things to capture jet engine performance data, guide autonomous vehicles, and learn from their surroundings.

We think about things like that a lot 🙂 and we’ll have a great app running on a 55” touchscreen that illustrates the role storage plays in enabling all those scenarios of both Big Data in the cloud and Fast Data at the edge. Come by the HGST booth # 857 to explore what’s involved in “Delivering the Possibilities of Data.” In the meanwhile check out this cool infographic on the datascape from the edge to the cloud.

Recharge

We’ve added a mini-lounge so you can take a moment to recharge your brain – and your electronics – before charging on through the Expo hall. Stop by, plug in, and recharge!

Resources

Here are a couple great resources to learn more about Storage Spaces Direct, and SQL Server 2016 used with Storage Spaces Direct:

I look forward to seeing you at the show!

 

[1] Storage Spaces Direct in Windows Server 2016”.

[2] “SQL Server 2016 now supports Windows Server 2016 Storage Spaces Direct

 

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