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Fileserver - Diskmanagement and Partition - best practice RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello all,

    Right now, we are running a fileserver (Windows Server 2016) with a really big data-disk (D:\) of round about 6,5 TB. This server is virtualized by VMware and the storage is located in the SAN.

    Our storage administrator provides us one big LUN and we have created one big vmdk on this LUN. So right now, this server has two vmdk-disks (C:\ and disk D:\). On Disk D:\ we have created one Share, which is mapped by all endusers.

    Now we had a discussion with our storage administrator, because he wants to rebuild the whole SAN/LUN environment. Instead of one big LUN, he will provide use 6 or 7 smaller LUNs (with round about 1TB) - because from his site, small LUNs are more comfortable and he can manage them (move) better.

    What is the best practice for diskmanagement and partition designing in such a case?

    Should we use all the LUNs as different disks (vmdks) and build one partition over all disks? (problem: when there is an issue with one disk, then the whole partition has a failure).

    Should we use all the LUNs as different disks and build a partition on each disk? (problem: when using more than one partition, we have to create a share on each partition and therefore the users has to be mapped to all shares - normally we would like to have only one share)

    Does anyone know what is the best solution?

    Wednesday, January 9, 2019 7:49 AM

All replies

  • Hello!

    I'm not sure if there are any "best practices" for this, as most environments are unique and there are many ways of doing this. So the choice is really up to your organization on how you design this, what suits your environment the best.

    I have many customers that are using both big and small disk(s) for their fileserver(s), both works really just as fine, but I will point down a few things below that you might want to think about first.

    What I normally see is organizations having separate disks for:

    • Home folders.
    • Programs / Software.
    • Organization data.

    One of the most important things is redundancy, you want the file server's disk(s) to be redundant in case of a failure and also perhaps your file server(s).

    Below is a few examples of how redundancy can be achieved:

    • Multiple file servers (Use DFS replication or any other replication between the file servers).
    • Multiple file servers (clustered).
    • Multiple SAN paths for the fileserver(s).
    • Storage replication (from primary to secondary site).


    Backup

    A big disk can take some time to backup, while having smaller disks take less time to backup.

    Migration

    If you have a maintenance and you have to perform migrations, having bigger disks can take more time to complete.

    Maintenance

    Having smaller disks can be easier to manage.


    Best regards,
    Leon


    Blog: https://thesystemcenterblog.com LinkedIn:

    Wednesday, January 9, 2019 8:49 AM
  • Thanks for your response.

    You are right with all your arguments and I also think smaller disk would be the best solution.

    On the current disk (6,5TB) we have one fileshare called "Data". Is there a possibility to create one share over several disks? This would be the perfect solution for our scenario.

    Wednesday, January 9, 2019 9:14 AM
  • Do you mean the "same share" but on multiple disks?


    Blog: https://thesystemcenterblog.com LinkedIn:

    Wednesday, January 9, 2019 9:20 AM
  • yes.. for example the enduser will map one Share like "\\fileserver\share" and on the fileserver itselfs, the data of that share is stored on multiple disks.
    Wednesday, January 9, 2019 9:33 AM
  • You can start using DFS namespace(s):

    DFS Namespaces is a role service in Windows Server that enables you to group shared folders located on different servers into one or more logically structured namespaces. This makes it possible to give users a virtual view of shared folders, where a single path leads to files located on multiple servers, as shown in the following figure:


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    Wednesday, January 9, 2019 9:36 AM
  • First of all, I also thought about DFS Namespaces.

    May I have to explain to your our current situation on the fileserver: We have on share called \\fileserver\data. Under this share we have a folder structure for each department in our company (round about 80 department-folders), like \\fileserver\data\depart1,\\fileserver\data\depart2,\\fileserver\data\depart3. So we have one Share \\fileserver\data and under this share a lot of departmentfolders.

    When I want to rebuild this scenario with DFS-Namespace, I have to create a share foreach departmentfolder. Let me explain

    Namespace-Root: \\Contoso\Fileshare

    Folder: A  ---> Target: \\fileserver\ShareA (disk 1)

    Folder: B  ---> Target: \\fileserver\ShareB (disk 1)

    Folder: C  ---> Target: \\fileserver\ShareC (disk 2)

    Folder: D  ---> Target: \\fileserver\ShareD (disk 2)

    ...

    I think this does not solve me problem.

    Wednesday, January 9, 2019 10:04 AM
  • In this case yes it is a lot of work to create a share for each department folder indeed.

    You basically use DFS to make logical shares from multiple paths.


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    Wednesday, January 9, 2019 12:39 PM
  • Hi,
    Just checking in to see if the information provided was helpful. Please let us know if you would like further assistance.

    Best Regards,

    Frank

    Please remember to mark the replies as an answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com

    Monday, January 21, 2019 10:23 PM
    Moderator
  • Unfortunately, this is not the perfect solution for our environment.

    DFS would be a good workaround / solution, but the effort for creating all the folders is to high.

    We are looking for a solution to combine a few hard disks to one volume.

    Tuesday, January 22, 2019 6:58 AM
  • Hi,

    There is a article about Storage Space,please refer to it.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/storage-spaces/overview

    Best Regards,
    Frank


    Please remember to mark the replies as an answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com

    Tuesday, January 22, 2019 11:57 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks.

    I thought already about the Storage Space on a standalone server: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/storage-spaces/deploy-standalone-storage-spaces

    But I am not sure if this also works when the server is virtualized by VMware and the disks are VMDKs from Vmware.

    Does anyone know if this is also supported?

    Tuesday, January 22, 2019 1:36 PM
  • Unfortunately VMware doesn’t support SMB as shared storage :/

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    Tuesday, January 22, 2019 1:52 PM
  • May I missunderstand the function of Storage Spaces.

    My understanding is the following (for a standalone server with storage spaces)

    I have a windows server 2016 with i.e. 6 virtual disks (provided by vmware). Within the Windows Server OS I create a storage pool over all 6 disks and create one virtual disk and provide this disk to the server itsselfs.

    I am not sure if this is the correct understand, but in my opinion this could be a solution for my problem - not sure if this is supported.

    Tuesday, January 22, 2019 4:00 PM
  • Storage Spaces was designed to be created using physical disks.

    I don’t believe it is a supported method to do on virtual machines but you CAN still do it.


    Blog: https://thesystemcenterblog.com LinkedIn:

    Tuesday, January 22, 2019 5:57 PM
  • Hi Andy,

    According to the document, storage space is support on iscsi.

    There is an additional information for you.

    https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1010398

    Please Note: Since the web site is not hosted by Microsoft, the link may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.

    Best Regards,

    Frank


    Please remember to mark the replies as an answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com


    Thursday, January 24, 2019 3:48 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Frank for this reply.

    So you think that this "could" work:

    I use a virtual machine (OS: windows server 2016) with i.e. 6 virtual disks (provided by VMware). Within the Windows Server OS I create a storage pool over all 6 disks and create one virtual disk and provide this disk to the server itself. On this volume I will share some data to enduser.

    Thursday, January 24, 2019 11:02 AM
  • Hi,

    Just check the situation about your issue.

    Best Regards,
    Frank

    Please remember to mark the replies as an answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com

    Monday, January 28, 2019 3:04 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

    Was your issue resolved? 

    If you resolved it using our solution, please "mark it as answer" to help other community members find the helpful reply quickly.
    If you resolve it using your own solution, please share your experience and solution here. It will be very beneficial for other community members who have similar questions.
    If no, please reply and tell us the current situation in order to provide further help.


    Best Regards,
    Frank

    Please remember to mark the replies as an answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com

    Monday, February 11, 2019 8:33 AM
    Moderator
  • Hey Frank,

    no, I do not have any solution for my problem.

    I am not sure if this workaround could work:

    I use a virtual machine (OS: windows server 2016) with i.e. 6 virtual disks (provided by VMware). Within the Windows Server OS I create a storage pool over all 6 disks and create one virtual disk and provide this disk to the server itself. On this volume I will share some data to enduser.


    Monday, February 11, 2019 5:40 PM