Storage Management Overview

Updated: May 4, 2012

Applies To: Windows Server 2012

This topic discusses the unified interface for storage management in Windows Server 2012, including requirements and an overview of the technology.

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Technology description

Windows Server 2012 enables storage management that is comprehensive and fully scriptable, and administrators can manage it remotely. A WMI-based interface provides a single mechanism through which to manage all storage, including non-Microsoft intelligent storage subsystems and virtualized local storage (known as Storage Spaces). Additionally, management applications can use a single Windows API to manage different storage types by using standards-based protocols such as Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S).


Your storage infrastructure should support the Storage Management Provider interface or support an appropriate version of SMI-S.

Technical overview

The unified interface for storage management in Windows Server 2012 provides not only a core set of defined WMI and Windows PowerShell interfaces, but also features for more advanced management, as shown in the following figure.

Figure 1 Unified storage management architecture

This design offers specific advantages for the following users:

  • Enterprise system administrators. Uniform, scriptable management by using Windows PowerShell with a comprehensive set of cmdlets that can be used for discovery; thin provisioning support; snapshot management; replication; masking and unmasking; enumerating HBA ports; and creating pools, logical units, and volumes. As an example, an administrator can use a single script to configure host resources and to configure and present the storage to Windows.

  • ISVs. Flexibility to administer any type of storage that is connected to a Windows system.

  • Storage manufacturers. Seamless integration of devices with any storage management client, which ensures consistent experience for users.

The unified storage management interface requires the use of a storage management provider that is based on SMI-S or WMI. If you install the Windows Standards-Based Storage Management feature, the interface integrates seamlessly with services offered by SMI-S providers, which enables administrators to manage non-Microsoft intelligent storage subsystems that have SMI-S providers. For WMI-based services, the interface includes a rich set of built-in storage management features that ISVs will find particularly helpful.

For more information about SMI-S and Windows Server 2012, see Introduction to SMI-S.

See also

For additional related information, see the following resources.

Content type



Introduction to SMI-S


Understand and Troubleshoot Storage Spaces and Pools in Windows Server "8" Beta

Tools and settings

N:Storage (Windows PowerShell cmdlets) | Storage Management API Classes

Community resources

The File Services and Storage TechNet Forum | Windows Storage Team Blog | Storage Team at Microsoft File Cabinet Blog | Jose Barreto's Blog | Windows Server Information Experience on Twitter

Related technologies

Data Deduplication Overview | High-Performance, Continuously Available File Share Storage for Server Applications Technical Preview | iSCSI Target Server Overview | Windows Offloaded Data Transfers Overview | Resilient File System Overview | Storage Spaces Overview | Supporting Information Workers with Reliable File Services and Storage | Thin Provisioning and Trim Storage Overview