Small office here with 5± users.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials.

Lenovo TS440

LSI 9240-8i RAID controller.

(2) 250 GB SSDs (OS)(RAID 1)


Is Storage Spaces basically like software RAID, but at the OS level, versus BIOS level? (Hardware RAID 1 currently)

I am going to redo this server, but before doing so, just wanted some thoughts on Storage Spaces if it is something that may be better here on out than my current RAID setup? I hear so much about RAID, either good or bad. I think RAID 1 is just fine, but then again, haven't experienced a drive failure in RAID 1 yet. SO I wonder if Storage Spaces may be something more refined given the age of RAID? not that RAID is bad because of that, but as technology progresses, may be a better option than something that is showing it's age. No I don't want to have the argument about that, but just some quick easy thoughts and benefits, drawbacks between the 2 from actual experience in a small office type environment (i.e. not a huge corporate server room).

Thank you!

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    Pretty much everything and more covered here betanews.com/2014/01/15/… – Drifter104 Jul 1 '15 at 22:06
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    ok, thank you. Just realized also that the C: drive (OS drive cannot be used). I think I'll stick with my current RAID 1 mirror setup.. The RAID card is hooked up the drives anyways and I don't want to have to change it to IT mode to pass thru to them... either way I think you can pass-thru the card anyways via BIOIS/MEGARAID settings. I think I'll skip Storage Spaces for now. Might be good later for extra drive storage to come though. – timd1971 Jul 1 '15 at 22:11
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    From my own experience, based on your current setup you'll have extreme difficulty troubleshooting any issues you get with a Storage Spaces setup. Disks connected via RAID controllers don't allow the OS to report any specific errors, so if anything goes wrong you'll be left scratching your head. Based on your current setup and requirements I'd stick with your RAID setup, which is robust and reliable and meets your need. Storage Spaces is aimed at a different kind of setup, and in any case isn't ready for prime time. – Matt Jul 1 '15 at 23:03
  • Good points!!!! – timd1971 Jul 1 '15 at 23:14

Storage Spaces Pros:

  • No hardware RAID required (less cost).
  • Non-parity redundancy types (Simple and Mirror with different column combinations) work good from both performance and stability standpoint.
  • Automated Storage Tiering. This can be a very useful feature for small deployments if configured properly.

Storage Spaces Cons:

  • Miserable performance if parity redundancy is used. Any mid-range hardware RAID controller will most certainly outperform Storage Spaces in this scenario.
  • Advanced options (changing default number of columns, tiering, space extend, WBC size change) are not usually available in GUI, and Google + Powershell are your best friends in this case.
  • All storage-related operations are offloaded to CPU (since RAID controller is absent) which may cause troubles during heavy workload. Always keep this in mind and estimate CPU resources accordingly when building a high-performance storage server powered by Storage Spaces.

If I were you - I'd stick with the HW RAID controller (especially, if you already have one).

| improve this answer | |
  • Indeed, I had to facepalm when I found a server with a fully capable HW RAID controller but was diverted ti Windows to control it via Storage Spaces. Only reason I'm involved is because it was crashing - with frankenserver drives... – Jerry Dodge May 26 '19 at 1:50

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