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Storage Spaces Speed Test

Over the weekend, several of my hard disks crashed so I replaced them with 3x Seagate 2TB 7200K RPM hard disks.


Since I’ve upgraded to Windows Server 2012, I decided to give it a go and see if using storage spaces is the way to go.


Setting up was easy, just start Server Manager –> File And Storage Spaces –> Storage Pools and pool the 3x 2TB hard disks together into a pool.


Then create a virtual disk and volume and you are good to go.



I also had a M4 128GB SSD as well as a 500GB 7200K RPM Seagate HDD.


Do note that my motherboard does not support SATA6, just SATA3


Using CrystalMark, I had the following result for the SSD. Pretty decent speeds



Next I tried the 500GB SATA



And for storage spaces (Mirrored)



Overall for sequential reads, the performance of mirrored disks is pretty decent. It fails at the small sector reads which is pretty much a limitation of the physical disks itself.


However storage spaces does give additional benefits

  1. Ease of Recovery. Using previous software raid technologies, if a disk failed, it is not so straightforward for you to restore back the data. With storage spaces you can easily add in a disk and it will do the rest
  2. Storage spaces allows you to add disks to the pool. In theory this should improve performance, but I cannot verify this as I have insufficient disks to try this one out
  3. Disk Reordering: With software raid, the disks needs to be presented in a fixed order. No such issues with storage spaces
  4. Auto recovery: I used to have an additional disk serving as a backup disk. With storage spaces I no longer need to care since it will automagically restore the data to another available disk (think hot spare)

Verdict: There may be some teething issues during the Preview and RC, but RTM definitely fixes these issues and makes storage spaces good for production use!

Categories: Windows Server
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