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Windows Storage Server 2012 - SAN synching vs DFS, resources required

    Question

  • Does Windows Storage Server 2012 have a SAN synching option. The situation I am thinking of is that I have two Windows Storage Server 2012's. With a SAN I can have synching between the two SAN units - sort of like RAID/mirroring across Ethernet.  Can I do the same with WSS?  

    Also I understand that WSS 2012 has some extra hooks for DFS. If so what are they and why would I choose to replicate my file store via DFS versus hardware synching? Can I do both?

    As well as far as power for WSS, the actual box that WSS runs on - does power make a difference? In other words do I need a dual Xeon, lots of RAM, etc or would a workstation type  I7 do?  I am asking because I have worked with OpenE SAN software and the ISCSI target stations are pretty minimal as far as CPU/RAM.


    As always field experience with the above is preferred for responders.
    Thursday, September 26, 2013 2:35 AM

Answers

All replies

  • Does Windows Storage Server 2012 have a SAN synching option. The situation I am thinking of is that I have two Windows Storage Server 2012's. With a SAN I can have synching between the two SAN units - sort of like RAID/mirroring across Ethernet.  Can I do the same with WSS?  

    Also I understand that WSS 2012 has some extra hooks for DFS. If so what are they and why would I choose to replicate my file store via DFS versus hardware synching? Can I do both?

    As well as far as power for WSS, the actual box that WSS runs on - does power make a difference? In other words do I need a dual Xeon, lots of RAM, etc or would a workstation type  I7 do?  I am asking because I have worked with OpenE SAN software and the ISCSI target stations are pretty minimal as far as CPU/RAM.


    As always field experience with the above is preferred for responders.

    Bad news: Microsoft don't have anything like this coming out-of-box (unlike VMware ESXi with VSA/VSAN, Xen/KVM with DRBD and FreeBSD with HAST).

    Good news: Microsoft had created nice ecosystem and ISVs do have such an offering you're looking for. If you need native Windows (no virtual machines which is a right way to go) then you need to look at StarWind (obviously, see the signature), DataCore and SteelEye. See these links:

    http://www.starwindsoftware.com/native-san-for-hyper-v-free-edition

    http://www.datacore.com/Software/Benefits/High-Availability.aspx

    http://us.sios.com/windows-replication-availability-software-smb/

    So at the end of the day you'll have exactly what you want - cluster, virtual SAN, HA shared storage and no hardware except actual servers and Ethernet uplinks. Like on this picture:

    If you're comfortable to run storage inside a VM (something IT industry is sliding away from) then you have a bunch of other vendors. 

    Hope this helped :)


    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    • Proposed as answer by VR38DETTMVP Thursday, September 26, 2013 7:31 PM
    Thursday, September 26, 2013 7:31 PM
  • Thanks for the info. I will dig in to it.

    What about DFSR - does it not do synching at a folder level? Could I not have all file server 'data'duplicated via DFSR?

    Also what about Windows Storage Spaces?

    Friday, September 27, 2013 1:22 AM
  • Thanks for the info. I will dig in to it.

    What about DFSR - does it not do synching at a folder level? Could I not have all file server 'data'duplicated via DFSR?

    Also what about Windows Storage Spaces?

    Yes it does. Except it's slow to replicate and slows down access to the files being replicated, has questionable failover say when you edit a Word file and active node goes down failover happens and when you say copy big file failover does not happen, pain in the butt to resolve version conflicts when both sides will modify the same file and cannot be used to host clustered resources like say VHDX for Hyper-V. Assuming all these things are not scary enough - DFS-R is fine.

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/filecab/archive/2012/11/12/dfs-replication-improvements-in-windows-server-2012.aspx

    http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/325653-file-server-on-hyper-v-2012-replica-feature

    http://windowsitpro.com/hyper-v/use-dfs-r-replicate-windows-server-2012-hyper-v-virtual-machines

    You mean Clustered Storage Spaces? Because just SS don't solve the task you want to solve - they are local. CSS need whole bunch of a corresponding hardware - SAS controllers, SAS JBODs from the certified hardware list (you don't want your support call with MS being ended when they will discover you use working but not certified SANS Digital or SuperMicro, don't you?) and SAS drives. Then if you're fine with your cluster nodes being also in a spitting distance from each other because of the SAS cable limitation (you don't want to purchase SAS switch, do you?) you can deploy CSS. Why not...

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj822937.aspx

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/clustering/archive/2012/06/02/10314262.aspx

    Hope this helped :)


    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    Friday, September 27, 2013 10:24 AM
  • Thanks for the awesome, detailed, field bruised and quick response. I have my reading cut out for me.
    Saturday, September 28, 2013 9:09 PM
  • Thanks for the awesome, detailed, field bruised and quick response. I have my reading cut out for me.
    You're welcomed! If you'd manage to share your final ideas and what did you use for production at the end of the day would be just great :)

    StarWind iSCSI SAN & NAS

    Sunday, September 29, 2013 10:33 AM
  • Hi arlesterc,

    As it has been a while since your last reply, please let us know if there is still anything unclear. 


    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum |If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, October 01, 2013 5:24 AM
  • Still reading and absorbing.
    Saturday, October 05, 2013 1:57 AM