A guide to Storage Spaces and Storage Pools on Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2

Storage Spaces is a storage virtualization technology developed by Microsoft and introduced with Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. It allows to create and manage logical volumes running on a pool – Storage Pool – of physical disks.

We’ve already showed how you can create and manage a Storage Space on Windows 8.1. It’s time to show you how to do the same on Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2.

You can find the Storage Services control panel opening the Server Manager. Click on File and Storage Services:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Here we are:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Create the Storage Pool

Open the Storage Pools tab, click on the drop-down menu on the upper-right corner and select New Storage Pool:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

A configuration Wizard will appear. Go on and specify the name of the Pool:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Select the disks you want to use for your pool:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Confirm and the Pool will be created:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Create the Virtual Disk

We have a Storage Pool but no logical disk that runs on it. Windows Server will launch a new configuration Wizard to create one:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Select the Storage Pool where you want to put your Virtual Disk:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Give it a name:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Choose the Storage Layout. With two disks use Mirror – a sort of virtual RAID 1 – while with more drives we suggest to use the Parity mode. Don’t use the Simple mode because it’s unsafe for your data:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Enabling Thin Provisioning, your Virtual Disk will use only the space effectively occupied by the Virtual Disk:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Specify the size (it can be greater than the underlying Storage Pool):

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

And even the Virtual Disk is done:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Create the Volume

The last step is to create the Volume. A quite simple step.

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Select the Disk:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Choose the volume size:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Select the drive letter:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Select the file system. We suggest ReFS for data storage:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Confirm and the volume will be created:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

Finally, you’re ready to use your Storage Pool:

Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2012

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