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MicroZoft-2424 asked MauricePippin-0988 answered

Storage Spaces on stand-alone Windows Server 2019 Datacenter: what are my options with 2x SSD and 4x HDD?

I think I need some education... I googled but cannot really find my way through.

I have 2x 1.75TB SSDs and 4x 3.64TB HDD.

The concept of Storage Tiers appealed to me and I thought I'd be perfectly set up for it. I guess I was wrong ( While I awaited a possible answer, I started to 'experiment'.

So I made 2 pools, both 1x SSD + 2x HDD. I wanted to make a virtual disk (formatted with ReFS) on PoolSet01 with data redundancy so that 1 disk could crash without any data loss. The only Storage Layout that does this (in the GUI) is Mirror. The wizard states:
Data is striped across physical disks, creating two or three copies of your data. This increases reliability, but reduces capacity. To protect against a single disk failure, use at least two disks (three if you're using a cluster); to protect against two disk failures, use at least five disks.

I'm using 3 disks, so I should be good, right? Wrong. I get a red error banner telling me:
There is not enough physical disks of each media type to support the storage layout. Select a different layout.

I then read this (Server 2012) article: which states that I'd need at least 2 SSDs... So I tested that: 2x SSD + 2x HDD Storage Tier with Mirror. That also fails (not supported).

I then tried 2x SSD + 4x HDD as a storage tier with mirror. Again, after selecting the size (maximum) I get the error above.

Lastly, I tried to make a Virtual Disk without the Storage Tier option enabled and instead chose for Parity (with 2x SSD + 4x HDD) and the maximum allowed size. I got the same error once again.

So clearly I'm not understanding wtf am I doing...

So wtf should I be doing? :)

What can be done? What can't? Ideally, I'll have the 2 SSDs for hot data and the 4x HDD for cold data and it should be OK for up to 2 disks to crash at the same time. All disks can be used for 1 pool.

Any advise? Help? Please? :))

Thank you!

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MicoMi-MSFT answered MicoMi-MSFT commented

Please check the following threads, I hope them could help at your side:
Windows Server 2012 R2 (RTM)
Storage Spaces - mix SSD with HDD
Storage Spaces - Designing for Performance

Thanks for your time!
Best Regards,
Mico Mi

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Thank you, I've been reading quite a lot of articles but things just become foggier. I'm surprised how hidden all this information is! I've put my question out here too: - hope it helps some Googlers re-tracing my steps :)

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Thanks for your sharing, I hope it could help others with similar issues.

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I still haven't found a solution, so I doubt it :)

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MauricePippin-0988 answered

We have built several storage server using Microsoft Storage Spaces, and have had good results. Our need has been for a backup and restore target for our Veaam that could really speed the process up. The key ingredient is tiering with SSD's, we used SATA and later SAS drives, and we have started testing using NVMe drives in the 2.5" U2 form factor. The best document I have found was put together by Veaam and posted on their user portal, I have tried to relocate it but have been unsuccessful so far.
Another issue is all the new write-up is on Storage Spaces Direct, and pretty much skip over all thin fine details.

From memory I will mention some things that stood out from the Veaam recipe.
Although not called a specific RAID set, the closest we did would be likened to a RAID10.
So for every spinning disk you need a SSD for best results, we used both 480GB and 960GB and did not see much performance difference, spinning disks we used were the Seagate Iron Wolf SATA 8GB, later we changed to the Seagate Exos SAS drive in 10TB, and later build the 16TB
All drives must not be on a RAID controller unless the controller can be set so that the drives pass through and presented to windows directly (HBA Mode)
I have created a pool as small as 4/4 (4 SSD's and 4 Spinning disks, 2/2 mirrored to the other 2/2) and as many as 16 and 16.
Really performance wise we did see some improvement sending 8-10 simultaneous backups to many small 4/4 then 40 to the larger16/16 disk pool.
We set our format to ReFS, unit size to 64k
A common issue we had was the pool/VD not attaching after reboot.
Here is the artical we used on the fix
Hope this helps some.

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