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Windows Server 2016 – What is Storage Spaces Direct?

Storage Spaces Direct enables the use of locally attached storage drives to create high-available and scalable storage at a small cost compared to traditional SAN or NAS technology.

It essentially will allow administrators to create a highly available storage solution using the local disks of clustered server nodes, accessed over Ethernet, and manage this at the operating system layer, bringing the controller technology of storage devices such as SANs to the operating system. The storage pools that can span across multiple servers, configured by the operating system will include cache, tiers and resiliency. Storage Spaces Direct builds in fault tolerance, which means that your environment can continue to operate if a disk or even an entire node goes offline.

Increasing storage is easy, by adding additional disks to your existing clustered nodes. You can also introduce an additional node into the cluster; once added, Storage Spaces Direct will introduce those drives into the array, and redistribute the volumes to take advantage of the newly introduced storage.

With the ability to use multiple storage types include flash and SSD, the storage pool will automatically use the fastest available media to provide a built-in cache. The solution can be managed with Storage QOS controls and Health Service provides administrators with capacity and performance metrics.

The solution can be deployed in two methods, Converged and Hyper-Converged. Converged Storage places the computing workload separate from the storage cluster and should be used for larger scaled deployments in scenarios for enterprise or service providers. Hyper-Converged runs the machines directly on the nodes delivering the storage reducing the hardware costs in SME or branch office environments.

Simplicity and ease of management is definitely one of the positives for administrators looking to create simple fault tolerant storage repositories at a small cost.

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