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With yet another beautiful example of feature creep and an overwhelming belief that Windows 8 must please all of the people all of the time, Microsoft has unveiled Storage Spaces, a new RAID-like storage solution that will be built into Windows 8.In essence, Storage Spaces allows you to group physical disks into pools of any size (pools of hundreds of disks, as found in a datacenter, have been tested by Microsoft).
Both pools and spaces can be created and managed using Powershell or a Control Panel applet. Apart from Metro UI, ribbon-based Windows Explorer, Start Screen, fullscreen metro apps, and many other small performance-related changes, Windows 8 comes with an efficient large storage media management feature called Storage Spaces. Today, with the release of Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview, we are bringing you extensive coverage of all the new features in Microsoft’s latest operating system.
Before we start looking at different aspects of Storage Spaces, it’s worth mentioning here that Windows 8 Storage Spaces feature is incorporated to better manage the large, external storage mediums, and therefore, you should not try adding bootable external hard drives and USB drives in storage pool created via Storage Spaces. Since all attached storage mediums are accessed from a single virtual drive (storage drive), you don’t have to mount attached disks to transfer data and perform other disk-related operations. Storage Spaces comes with multiple resiliency techniques, such as, two-way mirroring, 3-way mirroring and parity, to make your data secure and prevent it from disk failures. In System and Security, click Storage Spaces to create a virtual space for handling an array of physical disks.
Now attach an external hard drive or USB disk, and then click Create a new pool and storage space. Upon click, it will identify all the attached disks, allowing you to select the disk you want to add to storage pool. The Storage Spaces feature lets you assign a custom name to the disk, choose the resiliency type (2-way mirror, 3-way mirror, and parity), and maximum size you want to assign to the pool. Once all settings are in place, click Create storage space to begin creating the virtual storage pool. If you want to create a new storage space, click Create a new pool and storage space from navigation bar, and follow the above mentioned steps.
Storage Spaces may seem a bit hard to configure at first, but once you get a hang of its settings, it will become easy to create a new storage space, as well as, to add new physical drives to existing storage spaces.
AddictiveTips is a tech blog focused on helping users find simple solutions to their everyday problems. Microsoft confirmed that it is actively working on reducing the disk footprint of Windows 10, thus leaving more space for data. With previous Windows editions, it was almost a given that they required more disk space, but as hard disks were growing in capacity, users didn’t sense the increase in size. Microsoft has made this official through a blog post, saying that with current builds, Windows can efficiently compress system files.
Windows uses smart compression techniques so that when you are upgrading to Windows 10, the computer assesses its own performance and determines what compression factor to use. Besides this, Windows 10’s refresh and reset options will no longer use a separate recovery image, which is usually preinstalled by PC makers.
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Some Windows tablets have as little as 32 GB of internal storage, and future ones may only have 16 GB!
You can free up this space by copying the recovery partition to a USB drive and erasing it from your computer. There was a way to install Windows Store apps to an SD card in Windows 8, but Microsoft has removed this feature in Windows 8.1. If you’re using the built-in OneDrive cloud storage service on the desktop, you can right-click the OneDrive folder in File Explorer, select Properties, and click the Location tab. RELATED ARTICLE7 Ways To Free Up Hard Disk Space On WindowsHard drives are getting larger and larger, but somehow they always seem to fill up. Windows 8.1 tablets are Windows PCs, so our tips for freeing up disk space on Windows still apply to them.
When using an SD Card or USB drive, bear in mind that the SD card or USB drive can be removed from the device and anyone can access the files on it without entering a password. Disclaimer: Most of the pages on the internet include affiliate links, including some on this site.
First you can use Windows Server together with Storage Spaces, which will offer you a really great enterprise and scalable storage solution for low cost. Second you can use Windows Server to mask your existing Storage, by building a layer between the Hyper-V hosts and your storage.
At the moment there are not a lot of vendors out there which offer SMB 3.0 in there storage solution. Basically what the Scale-Out File Server let you do it so cluster up to 10 file servers which all will share CSVs (Cluster Shared Volumes) like you know from Hyper-V hosts and present SMB shares which are created on the CSV volumes.
As already mentioned you can use your already existing storage appliance as storage for your Scale-Out File Server CSVs or you could use Windows Server Storage Spaces which allow you to build great storage solution for a lot less money. Microsoft first released there Software Defined Storage solution called Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 and this allows you basically to build your own storage solution based on a simple JBOD hardware solution. Continuous availability – Storage Pools and Disks can be clustered with the Microsoft Failover Cluster so if one server goes down the virtual disks and file shares are still available. Flexible resiliency options – In Windows Server 2012 you could create a Mirror Spaces with a two-way or three-way mirror, a Parity Space with a single parity and a Simple Space with no data resiliency.


Storage Tiering – Windows Server 2012 R2 allows you to use different kind of disks and automatically moves “hot-data” from SAS disks to fast SSD storage.
Data Deduplication – Data Deduplication was already included in Windows Server 2012 but it is enhanced in Windows Server 2012 R2, and allows you to use it together with Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) and supports VDI virtual machines.
As mentioned both of this techologies do not require each other, but if you combine them you get a really great solution.
To scale this even bigger you can go to way, you could setup a new Scale-Out File Server Cluster and create new file shares where virtual machines can be placed. With the 2012 R2 releases of Windows Server and System Center Microsoft made some great enhancements to Storage Spaces, Scale-Out File Server, SMB, Hyper-V and System Center. Management – Management of Hyper-V and Scale-Out File Servers as well as Storage Spaces right in System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager. Deployment – Deploy new Scale-Out File Server Clusters with and without Storage Spaces directly from System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager via Bare-Metal Deployment. Rebalancing of Scale-Out File Server clients – SMB client connections are tracked per file share (instead of per server), and clients are then redirected to the cluster node with the best access to the volume used by the file share. SMB bandwidth management – Enables you to configure SMB bandwidth limits to control different SMB traffic types. Multiple SMB instances on a Scale-Out File Server – Provides an additional instance on each cluster node in Scale-Out File Servers specifically for CSV traffic. I hope I could help with this blog post to understand a little bit more about the Scale-Out File Server and Storage Spaces, and how you can create a great storage solution for your cloud Environment. Btw the pictures and information are taken from people like Bryan Matthew (Microsoft), Jose Barreto (Microsoft) and Jeff Woolsey (Microsoft). These pools can be allocated as spaces, which then appear as a normal drive letter in Windows and can be used to store documents, videos, photos, and so on. It looks like the process will be easy enough to set up, but whether it will be advertised to regular consumers (Clippy: “You seem to have multiple drives installed!
Supporting the new Resilient File System, casually known as, ReFS, the Storage Spaces allows small and midsize businesses, as well as, home users to easily manage their large (very large) storage pools without having to install expensive devices to organize their data saved across the disks. Storage Spaces attempts to implement a RAID model with data mirroring feature, enabling users to automatically mirror disks in order to prevent loss of data when disk failure occurs.  If you create a storage space (virtual disk) of 5TB, and then add 2 TB external storage drive to it, you can add remaining 3 TB external storage device anytime to virtual storage pool.
The virtual disk created by Storage Spaces behaves just like a local volume, allowing you to perform all basic disk operations, like partitioning, formatting, transferring data from remote and local locations, etc. To begin, open charms bar using Windows+C hotkey combination and use Start Search to open Control Panel, or just move to Start Screen and start typing Control Panel to search it from Apps category. Now, click System and Security category to view the all the available System settings and options. Once created, it will show the details of virtual storage pool, such as total virtual space capacity, number of attach physical drives etc. As mentioned earlier, Windows 8 Storage Spaces is designed to organize multiple physical disks from a single virtual disk, you can access the virtual storage space from Windows Explorer. It surely provides a better alternative to a range of expensive, third party drive extender utilities and devices, which require special knowledge to add and manage multiple storage mediums. We review the best desktop, mobile and web apps and services out there, in addition to useful tips and guides for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and Windows Phone. With Windows 10, Microsoft is looking to address many problems and also to bring together a great deal of desktop and mobile features.
While the amount of storage you will be able to save doesn’t seem that much when thinking of a full-fledged desktop PC, it will definitely have a great impact on tablets. This is extremely cramped for a large Windows system, so you’ll want to make the most of the little space available to you. You can add removable storage to expand your tablet’s storage, so you have more options than you do on an iPad or Nexus tablet. If you need to refresh or reset your PC, Windows will load the operating system files from the device’s recovery partition. Open the Create a recovery drive tool and use it to copy your recovery partition to a USB drive. You can insert a Micro SD card and leave it in your device all the time, effectively expanding its storage space. With this feature, you can store your media files on your Micro SD card by default, freeing up space on the internal storage.
Click the Set Up button under Default Save Locations to change your default save locations to a removable drive.
From here, you can change where OneDrive files are stored on your computer — and even move your OneDrive folder to an SD card to free up space. You can save files to OneDrive and then remove them from your internal storage, accessing them on-demand to reduce the space they use locally.
This tool looks at Windows Store apps, different types of media files, and your recycle bin to help you free up space. The newer one came with recovery partition installed on a SD card instead of directly on a partition with the system drive.
Most of the time you will have 2 controllers for fail-over and a little bit of manual load balancing where one LUN is offered by controller 1 and the other LUN is offered by controller 2. In Windows Server 2012 R2 a Hyper-V host can be connected to multiple SOFS node at the same time. You can build your own storage based on Windows Server, which not only allows you to share storage via SMB 3,0 it also allows you to share storage via NFS or iSCSI.


Or you could extend the existing cluster with more servers and more shared SAS disks chassis which don’t have to be connected to the existing servers.
This makes troubleshooting easier and reduces the need to capture network traces or enable more detailed diagnostic event logging.
This allows you to take advantage of key SMB features, such as SMB Direct and SMB Multichannel, by providing high speed migration with low CPU utilization. A default instance can handle incoming traffic from SMB clients that are accessing regular file shares, while another instance only handles inter-node CSV traffic.
Any array of physical disks can be used to make a pool — you can use a combination of external USB and internal SATA, if you wish. Do you want me to set up a pool?”) or kept as a power user feature remains to be seen.
However, with 2 TB attached physical drive, it will notify you when the physical storage space is reached, and ask you to add more physical drives to consume the full logical space (5TB). The resiliency is provided by mirror attribute of Storage Spaces, which ensures that there are at least two copies of your data present separately on physical disks. The Storage Spaces dialog will let you rename the pool, add more drives to the storage pool, view files on storage pool, rename and delete the storage pool.
The virtual storage pool can be expanded just by adding physical drive(s); it will automatically apply all the pre-configured resiliency settings over the disks.
And you will now be pleased to know that the next version of Windows will take less space, both on your PC or phone. We’ll look at this as well as some other options for making the most of your Windows tablet.
After the process completes, you’ll be given the option to delete the recovery partition from your device.
You can even sort your installed Store apps by size and remove the ones taking up too much space.
Consider using Truecrypt to encrypt the removable device if the data on it is particularly sensitive.
But in my opinion you can get a huge benefit by using Windows Server in different scenarios. Together with SMB Transparent Failover the Hyper-V host does not really get any storage downtime if on of the SOFS nodes fails. Which means that VM1 and VM2 running on the same Hyper-V hosts can be offered by two different SOFS nodes. The Virtual Disks, also called Storage Spaces, can have different resiliency levels like Simple, Mirror or Parity and you can also create multiple disks on one storage pool and even use thing provisioning. With SMB Multichannel you can use multiple NICs for example 10GbE, infiniband, or even faster network adapters.
This is possible because of  features like CSV Redirected mode hosts can access disks from other hosts even if they are not connected directly via SAS, instead the node is using the Ethernet connection between the hosts. Work as a Cloud Architect for itnetX, a consulting and engineering company located in Switzerland. Spaces can be configured to be redundant and provisioned.Redundancy in Storage Spaces is through either mirroring (RAID 1) or parity (RAID 3). Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Ziff Davis, LLC. This makes it easy to include additional storage devices without having to set up and manage each attached physical storage drive. Since the data saved on the disk is mirrored, you will be able to access the stored data even if one physical storage medium within the logical storage pool fails. If you have a free USB port, you can connect the USB drive to the USB port and keep it there most of the time. I have a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials at home that handles centralized storage for my home I also have a subsonic media server which allows me to access my media where ever I have an internet connection combined with the servers remote access I also have the ability to download any of my files no matter where I may be.
With Windows Server 2012 one Hyper-V host connected to one of the SOFS nodes and used multiple paths to this node by using SMB Multichannel, the other Hyper-V host connected automatically to the second SOFS node so both nodes are active at the same time. I am focused on Microsoft Technologies, especially Microsoft Cloud Solutions based Microsoft System Center, Microsoft Virtualization and Microsoft Azure. In both cases, if a mirror or parity disk fails, Spaces will notify you with a Windows pop-up, and then proceed to rebuild your volume if you have the capacity.
Apart from resiliency attributes, it uses thin provisioning concept that makes it possible to create a large mirrored space, say 10TB, on a 2TB of total physical disk capacity. So basically if I can install a decent sized SD so I can install programs locally and then access my content remotely then I can make due with the limited storage space on a tablet. In case on of the SOFS nodes dies, the Hyper-V host fails over to the other SOFS node without any downtime for the Hyper-V Virtual Machines.
True, this is not something totally different, this is something storage vendors do for a long time. The other advantage of thin provisioning is that you don’t have to decide on partition sizes ahead of time (an arduous task that many of you have no doubt suffered through).




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