Overview of Storage Planning

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Several factors have contributed to the growth of both online and offline organizational storage requirements. Among these factors are:

  • Increasing amounts of data

  • Increasing needs for high availability and fast recovery

  • Declining costs of storage

These developments have caused many organizations to place increased priority on storage planning and design. Planning and designing a storage solution involves defining the specific requirements of your organization and carefully evaluating how those requirements can work with or benefit from operating system services and features. Windows Server 2003 includes support for critical storage technologies such as direct-attached storage, network-attached storage, and SANs, as well as features such as Automated System Recovery (ASR), shadow copies, and open file backup that should be considered as you plan to meet your organization’s storage requirements. If your storage plan includes using additional storage management or backup tools, you will also need to plan for integration of the operating system’s storage features with these tools.

You can use the information in this chapter to assess your organization’s specific storage needs, and consider the storage technologies and operating system features that are available to meet those needs. You can then follow the processes defined here to develop a storage plan that meets your needs for scalability, security, availability, and recoverability. While this chapter does discuss how to plan for and work with various storage architectures and technologies, you should already have a working knowledge of each of these technologies.