Hardware RAID is not available for the four main drives which are configured as Microsoft Storage Spaces. These combine selected drives into a single pool which can be expanded on the fly into any spare ones.
Within our four-drive pool, we created virtual disks and chose from two- or three-way mirrors or parity resiliency which is essentially software managed RAID5. An advantage of Storage Pools is thin provisioning can be enabled on a virtual disk and will apply to all NAS shares and iSCSI targets within it.
Before creating NAS shares, you'll need to install the File and iSCSI Services feature in the File and Services Role as this isn't preloaded. For IP SANs, we also had to install the iSCSI Target Server feature as well. These aren't issues though, as when we attempted to create our first share or iSCSI target, it fired up wizards which loaded the features for us.
During virtual disk creation you can choose from three levels of resiliency with mirrors offering the best performance
Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.
Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.