Master Storage Spaces Direct
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Master Storage Spaces Direct

About the Book

The purpose of this book is to showcase the amazing expertise of our guest speakers at the North American MVPDays Community Roadshow.  They have so much passion, expertise, and expert knowledge that it only seemed fitting to write it down in a book.  


MVPDays was founded by Cristal and Dave Kawula back in 2013. It started as a simple idea; “There’s got to be a good way for Microsoft MVPs to reach the IT community and share their vast knowledge and experience in a fun and engaging way.” We wondered what the point was in recognizing these bright and inspiring individuals, and not leveraging them to inspire the community that they were a part of? If we didn’t yet have the right venue to help these individuals inspire and teach, why not create it?


Having established our soapbox, we often get asked the question “Who should attend MVPDays”?  


The answer is simple. Anyone that has an interest in technology, is eager to learn, and wants to meet other like-minded individuals should attend. This Roadshow is not just for Microsoft MVP’s, but for anyone in the IT Community.


Make sure you check out the MVPDays website at: You never know, maybe the Roadshow will be coming to a city near you.


The goal of this particular book is to give you some amazing Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) tips from the experts you come to see in person at the MVPDays Roadshow.  This book is used as a required reading prior to MVP Dave Kawula engaging on any Storage Spaces Direct project. From us at the MVPDays Publishing team we really hope you find immense value in this book and as always let us know what you think.


About the Authors

Dave Kawula
Dave Kawula

Dave is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) with over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. His background includes data communications networks within multi-server environments, and he has led architecture teams for virtualization, System Center, Exchange, Active Directory, and Internet gateways. Very active within the Microsoft technical and consulting teams, Dave has provided deep-dive technical knowledge and subject matter expertise on various System Center and operating system topics.

Dave is well-known in the community as an evangelist for Microsoft, 1E, and Veeam technologies. Locating Dave is easy as he speaks at several conferences and sessions each year, including TechEd, Ignite, MVP Days Community Roadshow, and VeeamOn. 

Recently Dave has been honored to take on the role of Conference Co-Chair of TechMentor with fellow MVP Sami Laiho.  The lineup of speakers and attendees that have been to this conference over the past 20 years is really amazing. Come down to Redmond or Orlando in 2018 and you can meet him in person.

As the founder and Managing Principal Consultant at TriCon Elite Consulting, Dave is a leading technology expert for both local customers and large international enterprises, providing optimal guidance and methodologies to achieve and maintain an efficient infrastructure.


Twitter: @DaveKawula

Thomas Rayner
Thomas Rayner

Thomas Rayner is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and Honorary Scripting Guy with many years of experience in IT. He is a master technologist, specializing in DevOps, systems and process automation, public, private and hybrid cloud, and PowerShell. Thomas is an international speaker, best-selling author, and instructor covering a vast array of IT topics.

Allan Rafuse
Allan Rafuse

Allan is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and a Veeam Vanguard. Throughout his career, his skills have allowed him to work in variety of different industries (Oil and Gas, Banking and Healthcare) and also move to several Canadian provinces and even live in Europe. He has worked in many job roles that support the data center stack and cloud components and is also well versed in designing and deploying robust, highly available enterprise solutions in single or multi datacenter environments.

Integrating products and automation are passions of Allan. His solutions usually employ virtual environments (Hyper-V, VMware), Active Directory, SQL Server, System Center (SCCM, SCOM, SCVMM, SCORCH), Windows Server, Exchange, PowerShell, Veeam products and even Linux. He is an expert at scripting solutions and has an uncanny ability to reduce complexity and maximize the functionality of PowerShell.

Allan is a huge tech evangelist and the founder and Managing Principal Consultant at BroadArc Consulting. His consulting skills, vision, methodologies and frameworks have allowed many projects and solutions to thrive and succeed.

If you haven’t had the chance to personally meet Allan’s at an IT community speaking, you can always virtually follow him and introduce yourself on his blog or twitter.

BLOG: | Twitter: @AllanRafuse | LinkedIn:

Cristal Kawula
Cristal Kawula

Cristal Kawula is the co-founder of MVPDays Community Roadshow and #MVPHour live Twitter Chat.   She is the President of TriCon Elite Consulting where she manages the day to day operations of the field consulting and sales teams.

Cristal is also only the 2nd Woman in the world to receive the prestigious Veeam Vanguard Community excellence award.  In July of 2017 she was awarded the designation of Microsoft MVP.  

Early in her career Cristal worked as a consultant with Microsoft authoring content for internal SMSGR and GTR teams.   This content was used to train internal support engineers and global escalation engineering teams.  

Cristal can be found speaking at Microsoft Ignite, MVPDays, and other local user groups.   She is extremely active in the community and has recently helped publish a book for other Women MVP’s called Voices from the Data Platform.  



Twitter: @supercristal1

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements iii

From Dave iii

About the Authors iv

Dave Kawula - MVP iv

Thomas Rayner - MVP v

Allan Rafuse – MVP vi

Cristal Kawula – MVP vii

Technical Editors / Reviewers vii

Emile Cabot - MVP vii

Cary Sun – CCIE No. 4531 viii

Kai Poynting viii

Clint Wyckoff - MVP ix

Contents x

Introduction 1

What is MVPDays? 1

North American MVPDays Community Roadshow 1

Structure of the Book 3

Sample Files 3

Additional Resources 4

Chapter 1 1

What is HyperConverged? 1

History of HyperConverged Infrastructure (HCI) 2

HyperConverged vs. Converged Infrastructure 3

Traditional infrastructure was not built for virtualization 4

HyperConverged Infrastructure 5

Chapter 2 8

Introducing Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) 8

Key Benefits of S2D 8

Simplicity 9

Performance 9

Fault Tolerance 9

Resource Efficiency 10

Manageability 10

Scalability 10

Deployment Options for S2D 11

Converged 11

Hyper-Converged 12

S2D Components 14

Networking Hardware 16

Storage Hardware 16

Failover Clustering 16

Software Storage Bus 16

SMB as transport 17

Software Storage Bus Bandwidth Management 19

Storage Bus Layer Cache 19

Storage Pool 19

Storage Spaces 19

Resilient File System (ReFS) 20

Cluster Shared Volumes 20

Scale-Out File Server 20

S2D Hardware Requirements 21

Windows Server Software Defined Program 21

Basic Requirements 21

Servers 22

CPU 22

Memory 22

Networking 22

Drives 23

Minimum Number of Drives 23

Maximum Size 24

Host-bus adapter (HBA) 24

Fault Tolerance and Efficiency 26

Mirroring 26

Two-way mirror 26

Three-way mirror 27

Parity – Erasure Coding 28

Single parity 28

Dual parity 29

Local reconstruction codes 31

When to use parity 31

Mixed resiliency 31

Storage efficiency 32

S2D Storage Calculator 33

When to use mixed resiliency 34

Sample Configurations 35

Examples where everything stays online 35

Examples where everything goes offline 38

Defining Resiliency Settings using PowerShell 38

S2D Cache 40

Drive Deployment Options 40

All-Flash 41

Hybrid 42

Cache Drive Selection 42

Cache behavior 44

Write-only caching for all-flash deployments 44

Read/write caching for hybrid deployments 46

Caching in deployments with drives of all three types 46

Cache Architecture 48

Drive bindings are dynamic 49

Handling cache drive failures 49

Relationship to other caches 50

Manual Cache configuration 50

Set cache behavior 51

Sizing the cache 52

Chapter 3 55

Windows Server 2016 Failover Clustering 55

What's new for Windows Server 2016 56

Cluster operating system rolling upgrades 56

Storage Replica 58

Cloud Witness for a Failover Cluster 59

Fault Domains 59

Virtual Machine Resiliency 63

Site-aware Failover Clusters 64

Workgroup and Multi-domain clusters 64

VM load balancing 64

Virtual Machine Start Order 65

Simplified SMB Multichannel and multi-NIC cluster networks 65

Diagnostic Improvements 66

Cluster Log Enhancements 66

Generating the Cluster.log 67

What’s New in Windows Server 2016 68

TimeZone Information 68

Cluster Objects 70

Diagnostic Verbose Logging 71

Events from Other Channels 73

Active Memory Dump 75

Configuring Active Memory Dump 76

Health Service 80

Prerequisites 80

Metrics 80

Metrics 80

Examples 81

Capacity Planning 81

Faults 82

Fault Coverage 83

Using the Health Service 85

Root Cause Analysis 86

Get-StorageHealthAction 87

Supported Components Document 90

Health Service Settings 93

Chapter 4 96

S2D Networking Primer 96

Windows Server 2016 Network Architecture 98

Teaming Configurations 98

Switch-independent teaming. 98

Switch-dependent teaming. 99

Algorithms for load distribution 101

Converged Network Interface Card (NIC) 103

Switch Independent / Address Hash 103

Switch Independent / Hyper-V Port 103

Switch Independent / Dynamic 104

Switch Embedded Teaming (SET) 105

SET Availability 106

SET Supported NICs 106

SET Compatibility 106

SET Modes and Settings 108

Member Adapters 108

Load Balancing Modes for SET 109

SET and Virtual Machine Queues (VMQs) 109

SET and Hyper-V Network Virtualization 110

SET and Live Migration 110

MAC Address Use on Transmitted Packets 110

SET vs. LBFO Teaming 112

Managing SET Teams 113

Creating a SET Team 113

Adding or removing a member of a SET team 113

Removing a SET team 114

Changing the load distribution algorithm of a SET team 114

Forcing the affinity of a VM or vNIC to a physical NIC 114

Setting up an affinity between a vNIC and a Physical NIC 115

Checking the affinity between a vNIC and a Physical NIC 115

Removing the affinity between a vNIC and a Physical NIC 116

Configuring RDMA for S2D 117

Enable Datacenter Bridging (DCB) 119

Create a Hyper-V Virtual Switch with SET and RDMA vNICs 120

Chapter 5 122

Deploying Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) 122

Cisco Nexus 9372x Switch Configuration 131

Powering on the S2D nodes 137

IPMI Configuration 137

Post-Configuration of the S2D Nodes 139

Building a 2-Node S2D Cluster 141

Install Core Windows Roles and features 141

Configuring Datacenter Bridging 143

Configuring the SET Team 144

Creating RDMA Enabled Virtual Adapters 147

Verifying RDMA Enabled Virtual Adapters 148

Creating Virtual Adapters for Live Migration and Cluster Heartbeat 149

Configuring the IP Addresses for the S2D Nodes 151

Download and Install all Windows Updates 152

Validate the Failover Cluster 152

Build the S2D Failover Cluster 155

Validate the Cluster prior to Configuring Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) 156

Enable Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) 157

Provision Storage Virtual Disks (CSV) 159

Viewing S2D Volume info with Show Pretty Volume 161

Expand the Virtual Disk 169

Expand the Pool by adding more disks 171

Chapter 6 177

Stress testing S2D using VMFleet 177

Overview of VMFleet Scripts 177

Master Control 181

Building VMFleet 182

Creating the Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) for the tests 182

Install the VMFleet Scripts 183

Create the VMFleet Golden Image 183

Create the Fleet VMs 184

Run the VM Fleet 186

Storage QoS 186

Automated Sweeps 187

CPU Target Sweeps 189

Chapter 7 191

Deploying an 8 Node S2D Lab Using Hyper-V 191

Chapter 8 198

Factory Reset of Storage Spaces Direct 198

Clear-SDSConfig.PS1 198

Appendix A 207

BigDemo_S2D Script 207

Appendix B 237

Dave’s S2D Demo Build Script 237

Find our Experts 254

Join us at MVPDays and meet great MVP’s like this in person 254

Live Presentations 254

Video Training 254

Live Instructor-led Classes 255

Consulting Services 255

Twitter 256

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