Storage Provisioning and Access

Applies To: Windows Storage Server 2008 R2

This section discusses disk storage provisioning and access.

Disk volume considerations

The goal of configuring volumes for a storage appliance is to achieve a balance of performance and reliability given your hardware setup. We recommend that you store user data and system data on separate fault-tolerant volumes.

In addition, the index files that are used for the Windows Search feature should be moved to data volumes.

For a two-node failover cluster, a minimum of two disks (LUNs) are provisioned. One LUN is provisioned for the disk witness, and one (or more) LUNs are provisioned to support high availability (HA) file server instances. The LUNs must be brought online, initialized, assigned a drive letter, and formatted by using the Disk Management MMC snap-in or by using Windows PowerShell scripts.


For failover clusters, LUNs must be available before running the Cluster Validation and Setup Wizard in the Deploy the Cluster task group.


Cluster storage provisioning tasks are specific to your storage appliances. Consult the documentation that is provided by your storage appliance vendor for specific information to perform these tasks.

Using the Share and Storage Management snap-in

The Share and Storage Management snap-in makes it possible to complete most of the administrative tasks that are required to create, provision, and manage volumes and shared folders. The Share and Storage Management snap-in provides access to the following:

  • The Provision Storage Wizard  Creates and configures storage for file sharing and block sharing, including creating LUNs on storage subsystems and creating and formatting volumes on LUNs or server disks.


You must install a Virtual Disk Service (VDS) hardware provider that is appropriate for your storage appliance to provision storage on an iSCSI target. If you have Microsoft iSCSI Software Target running on a Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 storage appliance, install the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target VDS Hardware Provider on any client computer.

  • The Provision a Shared Folder Wizard   Creates and configures shared folders that can be accessed by using the server message block (SMB) or NFS protocol.

  • Access to Single Instance Storage (SIS)   Can be enabled or disabled for each volume that is displayed in the Share and Storage Management snap-in. SIS recovers disk space by reducing the amount of redundant data that is stored on a volume. It identifies identical files, stores a single copy of the file in the SIS Common Store, and replaces the files with pointers to the file in the SIS Common Store. For more information on SIS, see Single Instance Storage (SIS).

Additionally, you can use the Shared Folder Management, Storage Manager for SANs, and Disk Management snap-ins to configure disk quotas, configure file shares, and enable indexing.

Using Microsoft Services for Network File System

Services for Network File System (NFS) is a feature of Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 that provides a file-sharing solution for enterprises that run Windows and UNIX operating systemst. By using Services for NFS, you can configure storage services so that users can store and access files on the storage appliance that is running Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 and transfer files between the storage appliance and UNIX computers by using the NFS protocol.

You can use the Services for NFS Configuration Guide to complete the initial configuration of Services for NFS, which includes an Identity Mapping Setup Wizard. After you complete the initial configuration, you can use the Services for NFS console for ongoing maintenance and administration.

If you are using Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 in an environment that does not include Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), you can install Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) on your storage appliance to provide user name mapping for NFS. Services for NFS can use any RFC 2307 compliant Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) service to provide user name mapping services.

Additional references