Windows Storage Server 2008 R2: Getting Started Guide

Applies To: Windows Storage Server 2008 R2

Windows® Storage Server 2008 R2 is a Windows Server® 2008 R2 operating system, but it is specifically optimized for use with network-attached storage devices. A computer that runs Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 is referred to as a storage appliance. Storage appliances that have Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 preinstalled and partially preconfigured are available from various OEMs.

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 provides enhancements in file share and storage management scenarios, in addition to integrating storage appliance management components and functionality. In addition, it provides a user interface (called Initial Configuration Tasks) to help you with the initial server configuration, unified storage appliance management, simplified set up and management of storage and shared folders, and support for Microsoft® iSCSI Software Target.

This document explains how to configure Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 for networking and storage provisioning, and how to deploy and manage your storage appliance.


Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 is an optional package that is available for use with Windows Storage Server 2008 R2. It provides block storage services, file-level services, and support for failover clusters. If it is not preinstalled on your storage appliance, contact your storage appliance manufacturer for information about acquiring it.

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 is available in the following editions:

  • Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Workgroup

  • Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Standard

  • Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Enterprise


The Enterprise Edition supports failover clustering. Discussion within this document regarding failover clustering features or support is referring to a storage appliance that is running Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition with the Failover Clustering feature installed.

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 components

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 includes the following features and components:

  • Initial Configuration Tasks (ICT)   Facilitates and simplifies the completion of various configuration tasks that are needed after the installation of Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 by your storage appliance vendor. It is an XML-based user interface feature.

  • Cluster Name and Domain Join Wizard   Simplifies the task of preparing a failover cluster by joining dual storage appliances (called the first and second nodes) to an Active Directory® domain.

  • Cluster Validation and Setup Wizard   Performs a series of hardware validation tests that ensure your storage appliances and associated storage are configured properly to support failover clustering, and then it creates the failover cluster. This wizard will also create a high availability (HA) file server.

  • Single Instance Storage (SIS)   Reduces the amount of space that is used to store data on a volume. SIS replaces duplicate files with logical links that point to a single copy of the file in the SIS Common Store, which is a hidden folder that is located in the root directory of the volume.

  • Windows PowerShell™ cmdlets   Enable task automation.


Also reference the documentation that is supplied by your storage appliance manufacturer. Such documentation will supplement this guide for performing tasks and procedures that are specific to your storage-appliance hardware configuration.

In this guide