Microsoft_Press_ebook_Introducing_Windows_Server_2012_R2_PDF.pdf

7 million clearly storage spaces is an enterprise

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2.7 million! Clearly, Storage Spaces is an enterprise-ready storage virtualization technology and its usage scenarios are not limited only to smaller deployments. The challenge, however, with the Windows Server 2012 version of Storage Spaces is deciding whether you want to optimize performance or storage capacity when building your storage virtualization solution. For example, if you use Storage Spaces to create storage pools backed by low-cost, large-capacity commodity HDDs, you get a capacity-optimized storage solution, but the performance might not be at the level that some of your applications require. This is typically because large-capacity HDDs are optimized for sequential data access, whereas many server applications perform best with random data access. On the other hand, if you create pools using more expensive SSDs, you can easily achieve the kind of random I/O performance your applications require, but you probably won’t have enough room in your budget to meet your capacity requirements for storage. The logical solution is to use a mix of low-cost, large-capacity commodity HDDs together with expensive, high-performance enterprise-class SSDs. Building a Storage Spaces solution along these lines can provide you with the best of both worlds and deliver high levels of IOPS at a relatively low cost compared to using a SAN. This means that there are three ways you can build a virtualized storage solution using Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012: Capacity-optimized approach Uses only low-cost, large-capacity commodity HDDs to provide high capacity while minimizing cost per terabyte Performance-optimized approach Uses only expensive, high-performance enterprise-class SSDs to provide extreme performance, high throughput, and the largest number of IOPS per dollar Balanced approach Uses a mix of HDDs and SDDs to achieve good performance and reasonable capacity at an acceptable cost Unfortunately, there’s a problem with the balanced approach. This is because although most enterprise workloads have a relatively large data set, the majority of data in this working set is often cold (seldom-accessed) data. Only a minority of data is typically in active use at a given time, and this hot data can be considered the working set for such workloads. Naturally, this working set also changes over time for the typical server workload. Since the working set is small, it would seem natural to place the hot data (the working set) on high-performance
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42 CHAPTER 3 Storage SSDs while keeping the majority of the data (which is cold data) on high-capacity HDDs. But the working set changes over time, so how do you seamlessly ensure that hot data is placed on SSDs and cold data on HDDs when you use Storage Spaces to create pools containing both SSDs and HDDs?
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