Clustering a Storage Space

Clustering a Storage Space

Q: Can I use a Storage Space in a cluster and if so, are there any restrictions?

A. Storage Spaces are fully supported in a Windows Server 2012 Failover Cluster and can provide a great way to enable shared storage in more basic cluster deployments.

As an example, consider an external storage enclosure that supports SCSI Enclosure Services (SES) 3.0 (this enables use of an array's failure identification features such as lighting up failed drives but isn't actually required) with SAS JBOD that has connectivity to two nodes in a cluster. There are some requirements on the storage and how the Storage Space is configured:

  • There must be at least three physical drives in the storage space (and each disk must be 4GB in size minimum; however, that's unlikely to be a major restriction).
  • The storage must be Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) connected drives and attached without other hardware or even software RAID used.
  • The cluster validation must be run and passed.

For the virtual disks created in the clustered Storage Space, there are support restrictions:

  • Fixed provisioning must be used (not thin).
  • Simple and mirror storage spaces only (no parity spaces).
  • ReFS formatted volumes are not supported with Cluster Shared Volumes. Note you can use ReFS with clustered storage spaces provided those volumes are not CSV enabled.
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