I am planning on building a new windows 2012 server for a client and I have no experience in doing so. I have built many linux servers for them and setting up software raid during the install is a trivial matter. I have been unable to confirm that the windows 2012 install process has an analogous process for setting up Storage Spaces during the install.

  1. Can Storage Spaces be used as an installation target (configured during setup?)
  2. Is it capable of mirror+stripe (RAID10)?

We have not ordered the hardware yet, so I'm looking for clarification.

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    Just because you can use Storage Spaces doesn't mean that you should. It doesn't sound like you have a use case for Storage Spaces and the nature of your question makes me think that you're implementing it solely because it exists. – joeqwerty Dec 6 '12 at 23:10
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    @joeqwerty, i am not intending to use it just because it exists. I want to use it for redundancy. In linux, i always mirror my drives so in the case of failure, the server will continue to run until i swap out the drive. In this particular case, I have 4 drive bays so raid 10 is a perfect fit. I would go linux if possible, but this server will be dedicated to a 3rd party product that runs on windows. – Lucas Dec 7 '12 at 0:04
  • @Lucas - That was my impression of the question. Hopefully no offense was taken and I'm glad to see that you got an answer. – joeqwerty Dec 7 '12 at 0:41
  • @joeqwerty, no offense taken, just explaining why i asked what i asked. Thanks for your input – Lucas Dec 7 '12 at 17:20

Storage spaces is not supported on boot, system, or CSV volumes. It's all done post-installation.

You can span (sucky), mirror (smart) or parity (I think it's equivalent to R5 and R6). There is no striping.

I suggest, at the moment, avoid if you have a decent RAID controller that can do online expansion. I see that you're ordering new hardware - spend the $500 and order it with a good RAID controller - you'll save yourself a lot of hassle in the long term.

RAID in Windows has always been a bit of an unloved child. I use it for mirroring in el cheapo servers, but that's it. That said, you can add a mirror your boot drive after installing the operating system should you so choose.

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  • Ouch... This gets more painful then. Hardware raid is never run to work with. Plus, not sure if the rack system i was planning on will support a hardware raid card. Might have to rethink this altogether. Thanks for the input. – Lucas Dec 7 '12 at 0:06
  • In sorry you've been burned by hardware RAID before, but I've never had serious problems with it. Windows has fantastic almost universal driver support for everything under the sun, and a lot of server boards will have a proper raid controller on board (but beware of some onboard ntel raid controllers) – Mark Henderson Dec 7 '12 at 0:39
  • Or, get a 1RU server like a DL120 or R210 that ship with halfway decent RAID controllers. – Mark Henderson Dec 7 '12 at 0:40
  • A cursory scan of this technet article makes me think your only parity option is RAID-5 equivalent. If that's actually the case I would avoid the parity option for the reasons stated here – voretaq7 Dec 7 '12 at 3:28
  • @voretaq7 - I dunno; I played with storage spaces on Windows 8 on Monday and it had option to "tolerate 2 drive failures", but in hindsight that could also have been RAID10... – Mark Henderson Dec 7 '12 at 3:30

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