Storage Spaces Direct

Hyperconverged Storage Solutions for the Software-Defined Data Center

Windows Server 2012 R2 presented a new feature—Storage Spaces—a software-defined storage file system delivering sophisticated storage virtualization capabilities to empower customers. Storage Spaces is used to aggregate the HDD and SSD into pools, and storage tiering takes care of performance by moving hot blocks to the SSD tier and colder, less frequently accessed blocks to the HDD tier.

Hyerconvergence

Microsoft is unlocking the value of hyperconvergence with the launch of Windows Server 2016 which now includes Storage Space Direct (S2D), formally known as “Shared Nothing” WS2016 introduces the second iteration of the software-defined storage feature known as Storage Spaces to bring cloud inspired capabilities to the data center with advances in compute, networking, storage, and security. This S2D local storage architecture takes each storage node and pools it together using Storage Spaces for data protection (two- or three-way mirroring as well as parity). The local storage can be SAS or SATA (SATA SSDs provide a significant cost savings) or NVMe for increased performance.

Software-Defined Data Center

Microsoft brings “born in the cloud” advanced features to Windows Server 2016 in order to extend into the software-defined data center (SDDC). Some feature added to Windows Server 2016 include the introduction of Windows Server Containers and Hyper-V containers, Nano Server (allowing up to 25x smaller than a full Windows Server deployment), and new features unique to the Datacenter Edition including an Azure-inspired networking stack, support for Shielded VMs, Storage replica, and the aforementioned Storage Spaces Direct.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure Appliance

To take advantage of the rapidly growing demand for hyperconvergence platforms and software-defined storage, RAID Inc. has formed a partnership with Lenovo to provide its HPC expertise and performance tuning with introduction of the RAID Inc. Ability™ HCI Series of hyperconverged appliances. By integrating both NVMe and SATA devices as a method of lessening the cost of infrastructure hardware, the Ability HCI utilizes best-of-breed NVMe performance flash technologies and RDMA-enabled networking cards.

The RAID Inc. Ability™ HCI Series: can reduce the total cost of ownership of IT infrastructure by condensing and consolidating resources into a performance-tuned, holistic designed and managed, market leading reliable solution. Ability™ HCI Series appliances come with an aggressive go-to market strategy for this Microsoft hyperconverged solution with price point of under $500 per VM for a complete Storage Spaces Direct deployment.