Author Topic: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces  (Read 8112 times)

Offline ftp222

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Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« on: January 05, 2012, 02:39:19 PM »
Just saw this article on the Building Windows 8 Development Blog:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/01/05/virtualizing-storage-for-scale-resiliency-and-efficiency.aspx

This sounds very interesting and could potentially have me moving away from unRAID.  Not that I am unhappy with unRAID - quite the opposite - but the read/write speeds get to me at times.

There are a couple of features I don't like how they are implementing:
1.  Thin Provisioning - I like the concept and use it all of the time at work and home; however explaining this concept to a normal person is going to be a challenge.
2.  Mirrored Protection - Can spread a folder across several drives.  If you lose enough disks, you could lose certain files in a folder and make it very difficult to tell what files are missing/lost.
3.  Power Savings - Parity protection appears to stripe across all disks, which will be a problem for those of us looking for maximum power savings - like unRAID gives us.

Otherwise, this looks like something to check out.  As mainly a Windows user, I am very interested.

Offline opentoe

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Re: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 06:05:58 PM »
Yea, I'm definitely going to take Windows up on this. Different size drives, parity, can remove/replace, support for larger size drives, and there is no max amount of drives you can use. I'm not against unraid at all, but if Windows 8 actually comes out before unraid support 3TB drives on a stable platform then it is a no choice situation. And I'm sure the write speeds will be on par with an optimized RAID, which is a huge plus. Trust me, the last thing I want to do is worry about another entire OS running, having to keep updating it, maint, security and all that. Not something I would like. But imagine installing Crashplan easily on it and selecting drive F: which is a 20TB pool and looks like one big drive to anyone using the system. Hahahhah. Sounds good to me.



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Offline boof

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Re: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2012, 01:23:29 AM »
The two main drawbacks highlighted in that article with regards to 'competition' with unraid are :

- striped data no matter if using mirroring or parity. I doubt it will tolerate multiple disk failures (without also increasing the space used by parity / mirroring) as unraid does as the data on drives will not just be in a 'standard' filesystem so losing unraids 'you only lose data on the drives that actually failed' advantage.

- Because of the above I doubt it will spin individual drives down.

- Similarly you can't just put one of the drives into another system for recovery, you'd have to move the entire array / stripe over.

However, early days and that article was necessarily light on the nitty gritty so one to watch with *great* interest I suspect!

Nice to see Microsoft focusing on storage improvements, I suspect we might see more features fall out of this as time goes on. It will also be interesting to see what the framework looks like for third party bolt ons (if at all) and what that might bring....

Offline sacretagent

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Re: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 01:45:51 AM »
one of the things i am looking out for is this

http://www.geek.com/articles/news/windows-8-cloud-powered-roaming-user-profiles-revealed-20110427/

cloud stored profile...
which means your profile would go with you on every computer... no more messing with settings on each computer
if now my programs would go with me to each computer that would be fabulous :P
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Offline ftp222

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Re: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 07:51:17 AM »
- striped data no matter if using mirroring or parity. I doubt it will tolerate multiple disk failures (without also increasing the space used by parity / mirroring) as unraid does as the data on drives will not just be in a 'standard' filesystem so losing unraids 'you only lose data on the drives that actually failed' advantage.

- Because of the above I doubt it will spin individual drives down.

- Similarly you can't just put one of the drives into another system for recovery, you'd have to move the entire array / stripe over.

I agree with these, but I think they are things I can live with.  The standard file system of unRAID is awesome though.... hmmm.

If you read the article closely, it looks like upon a failed drive, the system will move your data around to other drives if space is available and recreate parity.  This sounds just like Drobo to me, but I sure hope it is executed better.

I love unRAID and it has saved my bacon more than a few times over the last 4 years, but I really need to take a close look at this solution.

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Re: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 08:30:10 AM »
Your drobo comment above is exactly what I was thinking when I first looked at this.  It is exactly what it reminded me of.
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Offline mbryanr

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Re: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 08:45:44 AM »
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Offline lionelhutz

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Re: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2012, 11:02:15 AM »
It sure looks interesting but my unRAID box is safe. I'm not putting hard drives in my living room where my HTPC/PC lives. I put a bunch of effort into making that thing small and fairly silent and it's staying that way.

My first thought was that it'll just propogate into having more people running groups of USB drives and cheap external drive boxes leading to drive issues that wouldn't happen with a properly built server. Also, I'm pretty sure my unRAID box would use less power than a PC with 8 external USB HDD's hanging off it.

Peter

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Re: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2012, 11:05:23 AM »
It sure looks interesting but my unRAID box is safe. I'm not putting hard drives in my living room where my HTPC/PC lives. I put a bunch of effort into making that thing small and fairly silent and it's staying that way.

My first thought was that it'll just propogate into having more people running groups of USB drives and cheap external drive boxes leading to drive issues that wouldn't happen with a properly built server. Also, I'm pretty sure my unRAID box would use less power than a PC with 8 external USB HDD's hanging off it.

Peter


Agreed
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Offline mbryanr

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Re: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2012, 11:22:49 AM »
True..but another server never hurt. ;D
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Offline dgaschk

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Re: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2012, 12:47:35 PM »
There's no requirement to use USB drives. It's just a convenient example. I think the unRAID is safer because it does not stripe data. Losing 2 disks does not loose the entire array. I need to run the probability numbers to determine the difference.
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Offline opentoe

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Re: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2012, 04:38:24 PM »
Windows 8 is expected to arrive around October of this year. If unRAID has 3TB support in a stable version before then, of course I'll stick with unRAID. If there is no 3TB drive support then I'll switch over to Windows 8.  I'm a subscriber to Technet, so I can try it out now if I want to I believe.

-Array of 14 protected disks- unRaid 5.0.4
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Drive 13: Western Digital Black 2TB 7200 rpm 64MB cache
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Offline kortina

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Re: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2012, 01:57:35 PM »
There are a few features that are making me rethink unRaid.

UnRaid 4.7 has been a rock solid platform for me for the last 2 years.

Win8+Spaces claimed benifits:

SMB2.2:
While not strictly a "Storage Spaces" feature, Windows8 will have an SMB2.2 stack that is vastly improved.
see: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/hh457617.aspx
This demonstrates 4300MB/Sec from a 12 disc SSD array (wow)

Notification:
No doubt that you will be able to set up an "Event Drive" task within task scheduler. To email you when a drive fails

Emergency repair:
While a disc has failed, storage spaces will reshuffle your data to keep you protected from a second failure...

When a pool disk fails, Storage Spaces identifies the impacted slabs for all spaces utilizing the failed disk, and reallocates them to any available hot-spare disk or to any other suitable disk within the pool (hot-spares are reserved disks within the pool, only to be used as automatic replacements for failed disks). This self-healing is done automatically and transparently so as to minimize the need for manual intervention. We’ve also optimized for speed to prevent data loss from multiple hardware failures at the same time

3Tb Drive Support:
Great news for those who want the biggest array for the least # of sata ports

These are all killer features for me...

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Re: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2012, 02:05:01 PM »
SMB2.2:
While not strictly a "Storage Spaces" feature, Windows8 will have an SMB2.2 stack that is vastly improved.
see: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/hh457617.aspx
This demonstrates 4300MB/Sec from a 12 disc SSD array (wow)
latest unRAID beta contains SMB 2 and it will be updated to on par with the Windows version

Quote
Notification:
No doubt that you will be able to set up an "Event Drive" task within task scheduler. To email you when a drive fails
Not possible in unRAID as of yet, but then again we don't know if it will be in Windows 8 either.

Quote
Emergency repair:
While a disc has failed, storage spaces will reshuffle your data to keep you protected from a second failure...
This is very much drobo-esc.  I understand the appeal of this... but it is less needed and may not even be wanted in something like unRAID. unRAID is JBOD with parity and moving data after a drive failure could lead to possibly more data lose (another drive fails while moving data).  So far as I am concerned I want it left alone until I can physically touch the machine and figure out what might be going on.

Quote
3Tb Drive Support:
Great news for those who want the biggest array for the least # of sata ports
beta unRAID supports this and 5.0 final will support this.
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Offline neilt0

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Re: Windows 8 - Storage Spaces
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2012, 02:38:19 PM »
Isn't this W8 feature just mirroring data? So to protect a 4TB drive, you need another 4TB drive? That doesn't seem so clever, and is far more expensive than unRAID parity.
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