Hands-On: Working with Storage Spaces in Windows 8

Hands-On: Working with Storage Spaces in Windows 8

  • Comments 8
  • Likes

Storage Spaces is an exciting new storage virtualization technology that is new for Windows 8. For background, you can read my prior post on Windows 8 storage solutions. In this post I’ll build on this topic and give you a walk-though demo of how to create and configure Storage Spaces and also include information on advanced tools for Storage Spaces management.

Background

Storage Spaces are built on storage hardware virtualization called Storage Pools. Storage Pools are collections of physical drives and are used by Storage Spaces for storage. A Storage Space is a logical drive object that uses virtualized storage from a Storage Pool.

Storage Spaces Demo

Creating a Storage Space is essentially a two-step process:

  1. Creation of a Storage Pool. You select which available drives on your system will be used to create a virtualized pool of disk storage for use with Storage Spaces.
  2. Creation of one or more Storage Spaces. Creating a Storage Space involves choosing a name, drive letter, resiliency options, and capacity. You can create multiple Storage Spaces in a single Storage Pool.

Here’s a video that will give you a walk-trough of the following:

  1. Launching the “Storage Spaces” control panel
  2. Creating a Storage Pool
  3. Creating two Storage Spaces in the Storage Pool
  4. Deleting Storage Spaces and the Storage Pool to reclaim the physical drives

As you can see, Windows 8 provides an easy experience for the creation and management of Storage Spaces. But what if you are more of the command-line kind of person?

PowerShell Management for Storage Spaces

If you need to automate the creation and management of storage spaces, there’s full support in WMI (Windows Management and Instrumentation) for the management of Storage Spaces. There are also several PowerShell cmdlets for Storage Spaces, so that you can manage Storage Spaces from PowerShell. This PowerShell integration provides a convenient way to either use the command line or scripts to configure Storage Pools and Storage Spaces. While a deep dive into PowerShell and WMI for Storage Spaces is beyond the scope of this blog post, you can get lots of detail HERE and HERE.

In order to give you an idea of how PowerShell can be used to manage Storage Spaces, I’ve outlined a simplified PowerShell command sequence below. The following commands would be used to perform the tasks that I showed in the video above: (partition management steps removed for clarity)

# Before this, identify physical disks to use, remove existing partitions

# Get disks that have been prepared for inclusion in Storage Pool
$pd = Get-PhysicalDisk –CanPool $True

# Create the storage pool
New-StoragePool -PhysicalDisks $pd –StorageSubSystemFriendlyName *Spaces* -FriendlyName “Buffalo 3T USB 3.0 Drives”

# Create Storage Space 1 using newly created storage pool
New-VirtualDisk -FriendlyName “Storage Space 1” -StoragePoolFriendlyName “Buffalo 3T USB 3.0 Drives” -ResiliencySettingName Mirror -ProvisioningType Thin –Size 2.72TB

# Create Storage Space 2 using newly created storage pool
New-VirtualDisk -FriendlyName “Storage Space 2” -StoragePoolFriendlyName “Buffalo 3T USB 3.0 Drives” -ResiliencySettingName Mirror -ProvisioningType Thin –Size 2.72TB

# Now create and format partitions on Storage Space logical drives

Have tips and tricks or experiences to share with Storage Spaces management? Please leave a comment!

Find me on twitter! @GavinGear

8 Comments
You must be logged in to comment. Sign in or Join Now
  • WinRat
    0 Posts

    Heh, the timing on this post couldn't have been more timely in my case.  Long story short, as I sit and type this I am working out an issue with Storage Spaces in Windows 8.  I had reason to remove two drives and had to jump through all the PowerShell hoops.  At least it was a learning experience in PS, but stupid ridiculous to think a "regular user" would even attempt such a thing!  Now that I've gotten all my data off to an external drive, now I'm working through deleting the existing pool altogether, but continue to get access denied messages (I predict more PS).  And all of this started for some arcane reasoning, understood only by some storage engineer......Why on Earth, when a storage space fills up does it go offline and won't come back online unless you add more storage?  (I didn't learn until later that there was probably some PS scripting that would have gotten around this as well.)  Seriously?  I'm old, been using computers since TRS-80 days....in all that time, space fills up, system says...Yo, I'm full, delete some stuff!  I can't take anymore!...that's it.  You go delete some stuff and all is well in the world.  Seriously?  It's taken offline to "avoid corruption"?  Umm, wait, what?  Just a wee bit frustrated.......

  • Gavin Gear
    104 Posts

    jschroedl - I didn't show removing Storage Spaces or deleting pools in my PowerShell pseudo-script above- in fact I didn't try from PowerShell. I'm looking into an answer for you however...

  • jschroedl
    24 Posts

    How were you able to avoid all the powershell madness involved in removing a drive from the Storage Space? Is it because you deleted the Pool?  If so, I'm afraid I have to accuse you of "cheating" and showing an unrealistic usage.

    Storage Spaces really need a UI for returning a drive to usability once it' been remove from a Storage Space. I advised someone to use Storage Spaces but now regret it b/c of the difficulty of removing a drive and repurposing it for other uses.

    See this post for the beginning of the madness:

    social.technet.microsoft.com/.../93b161b5-0e36-45a8-a239-d79d80e2eb70

  • Wish I had Data Deduplication in Win8. That would help me get more out of the smaller sized SSDs.

  • Gavin Gear
    104 Posts

    FYI: the issue with the video has been resolved. Thanks!

  • Gavin Gear
    104 Posts

    Thanks for letting us know! Looking into it. Note that the video is also on Channel 9: channel9.msdn.com/.../Hands-On-with-Storage-Spaces-in-Windows-8

  • geekd0m
    0 Posts

    As Gyrecon stated, the video does freeze at 3:30 into it....

  • Gyrecon
    0 Posts

    The video freezes at 3:30