Creating volumes in Storage Spaces Direct

Applies to: Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016

This topic describes how to create volumes on a Storage Spaces Direct cluster by using Windows Admin Center, PowerShell, or Failover Cluster Manager.

Tip

If you haven't already, check out Planning volumes in Storage Spaces Direct first.

Create a three-way mirror volume

To create a three-way mirror volume in Windows Admin Center:

  1. In Windows Admin Center, connect to a Storage Spaces Direct cluster, and then select Volumes from the Tools pane.
  2. On the Volumes page, select the Inventory tab, and then select Create volume.
  3. In the Create volume pane, enter a name for the volume, and leave Resiliency as Three-way mirror.
  4. In Size on HDD, specify the size of the volume. For example, 5 TB (terabytes).
  5. Select Create.

Depending on the size, creating the volume can take a few minutes. Notifications in the upper-right will let you know when the volume is created. The new volume appears in the Inventory list.

Watch a quick video on how to create a three-way mirror volume.

Create a mirror-accelerated parity volume

Mirror-accelerated parity reduces the footprint of the volume on the HDD. For example, a three-way mirror volume would mean that for every 10 terabytes of size, you will need 30 terabytes as footprint. To reduce the overhead in footprint, create a volume with mirror-accelerated parity. This reduces the footprint from 30 terabytes to just 22 terabytes, even with only 4 servers, by mirroring the most active 20 percent of data, and using parity, which is more space efficient, to store the rest. You can adjust this ratio of parity and mirror to make the performance versus capacity tradeoff that's right for your workload. For example, 90 percent parity and 10 percent mirror yields less performance but streamlines the footprint even further.

To create a volume with mirror-accelerated parity in Windows Admin Center:

  1. In Windows Admin Center, connect to a Storage Spaces Direct cluster, and then select Volumes from the Tools pane.
  2. On the Volumes page, select the Inventory tab, and then select Create volume.
  3. In the Create volume pane, enter a name for the volume.
  4. In Resiliency, select Mirror-accelerated parity.
  5. In Parity percentage, select the percentage of parity.
  6. Select Create.

Watch a quick video on how to create a mirror-accelerated parity volume.

Open volume and add files

To open a volume and add files to the volume in Windows Admin Center:

  1. In Windows Admin Center, connect to a Storage Spaces Direct cluster, and then select Volumes from the Tools pane.

  2. On the Volumes page, select the Inventory tab.

  3. In the list of volumes, select the name of the volume that you want to open.

    On the volume details page, you can see the path to the volume.

  4. At the top of the page, select Open. This launches the Files tool in Windows Admin Center.

  5. Navigate to the path of the volume. Here you can browse the files in the volume.

  6. Select Upload, and then select a file to upload.

  7. Use the browser Back button to go back to the Tools pane in Windows Admin Center.

Watch a quick video on how to open a volume and add files.

Turn on deduplication and compression

Deduplication and compression is managed per volume. Deduplication and compression uses a post-processing model, which means that you won't see savings until it runs. When it does, it'll work over all files, even those that were there from before.

  1. In Windows Admin Center, connect to a Storage Spaces Direct cluster, and then select Volumes from the Tools pane.

  2. On the Volumes page, select the Inventory tab.

  3. In the list of volumes, select the name of the volume that want to manage.

  4. On the volume details page, click the switch labeled Deduplication and compression.

  5. In the Enable deduplication pane, select the deduplication mode.

    Instead of complicated settings, Windows Admin Center lets you choose between ready-made profiles for different workloads. If you're not sure, use the default setting.

  6. Select Enable.

Watch a quick video on how to turn on deduplication and compression.

Create volumes using PowerShell

We recommend using the New-Volume cmdlet to create volumes for Storage Spaces Direct. It provides the fastest and most straightforward experience. This single cmdlet automatically creates the virtual disk, partitions and formats it, creates the volume with matching name, and adds it to cluster shared volumes – all in one easy step.

The New-Volume cmdlet has four parameters you'll always need to provide:

  • FriendlyName: Any string you want, for example "Volume1"

  • FileSystem: Either CSVFS_ReFS (recommended) or CSVFS_NTFS

  • StoragePoolFriendlyName: The name of your storage pool, for example "S2D on ClusterName"

  • Size: The size of the volume, for example "10TB"

    Note

    Windows, including PowerShell, counts using binary (base-2) numbers, whereas drives are often labeled using decimal (base-10) numbers. This explains why a "one terabyte" drive, defined as 1,000,000,000,000 bytes, appears in Windows as about "909 GB". This is expected. When creating volumes using New-Volume, you should specify the Size parameter in binary (base-2) numbers. For example, specifying "909GB" or "0.909495TB" will create a volume of approximately 1,000,000,000,000 bytes.

Example: With 2 or 3 servers

To make things easier, if your deployment has only two servers, Storage Spaces Direct will automatically use two-way mirroring for resiliency. If your deployment has only three servers, it will automatically use three-way mirroring.

New-Volume -FriendlyName "Volume1" -FileSystem CSVFS_ReFS -StoragePoolFriendlyName S2D* -Size 1TB

Example: With 4+ servers

If you have four or more servers, you can use the optional ResiliencySettingName parameter to choose your resiliency type.

  • ResiliencySettingName: Either Mirror or Parity.

In the following example, "Volume2" uses three-way mirroring and "Volume3" uses dual parity (often called "erasure coding").

New-Volume -FriendlyName "Volume2" -FileSystem CSVFS_ReFS -StoragePoolFriendlyName S2D* -Size 1TB -ResiliencySettingName Mirror
New-Volume -FriendlyName "Volume3" -FileSystem CSVFS_ReFS -StoragePoolFriendlyName S2D* -Size 1TB -ResiliencySettingName Parity

Example: Using storage tiers

In deployments with three types of drives, one volume can span the SSD and HDD tiers to reside partially on each. Likewise, in deployments with four or more servers, one volume can mix mirroring and dual parity to reside partially on each.

To help you create such volumes, Storage Spaces Direct provides default tier templates called Performance and Capacity. They encapsulate definitions for three-way mirroring on the faster capacity drives (if applicable), and dual parity on the slower capacity drives (if applicable).

You can see them by running the Get-StorageTier cmdlet.

Get-StorageTier | Select FriendlyName, ResiliencySettingName, PhysicalDiskRedundancy

Storage Tiers PowerShell Screenshot

To create tiered volumes, reference these tier templates using the StorageTierFriendlyNames and StorageTierSizes parameters of the New-Volume cmdlet. For example, the following cmdlet creates one volume which mixes three-way mirroring and dual parity in 30:70 proportions.

New-Volume -FriendlyName "Volume4" -FileSystem CSVFS_ReFS -StoragePoolFriendlyName S2D* -StorageTierFriendlyNames Performance, Capacity -StorageTierSizes 300GB, 700GB

Create volumes using Failover Cluster Manager

You can also create volumes using the New Virtual Disk Wizard (Storage Spaces Direct) followed by the New Volume Wizard from Failover Cluster Manager, although this workflow has many more manual steps and is not recommended.

There are three major steps:

Step 1: Create virtual disk

New Virtual Disk

  1. In Failover Cluster Manager, navigate to Storage -> Pools.
  2. Select New Virtual Disk from the Actions pane on the right, or right-click the pool and select New Virtual Disk.
  3. Select the storage pool and click OK. The New Virtual Disk Wizard (Storage Spaces Direct) will open.
  4. Use the wizard to name the virtual disk and specify its size.
  5. Review your selections and click Create.
  6. Be sure to check the box marked Create a volume when this wizard closes before closing.

Step 2: Create volume

The New Volume Wizard will open.

  1. Select the virtual disk you just created and click Next.
  2. Specify the volume's size (default: the same size as the virtual disk) and click Next.
  3. Assign the volume to a drive letter or choose Don't assign to a drive letter and click Next.
  4. Specify the filesystem to use, leave the allocation unit size as Default, name the volume, and click Next.
  5. Review your selections and click Create, then Close.

Step 3: Add to cluster shared volumes

Add to Cluster Shared Volumes

  1. In Failover Cluster Manager, navigate to Storage -> Disks.
  2. Select the virtual disk you just created and select Add to Cluster Shared Volumes from the Actions pane on the right, or right-click the virtual disk and select Add to Cluster Shared Volumes.

You're done! Repeat as needed to create more than one volume.

See also