Testing Storage Spaces Direct using Dell PowerEdge R730xd

Testing Storage Spaces Direct using Dell PowerEdge R730xd

This blog post was originally written by Syama Poluri
Disclaimer: Dell does not offer support for Windows Server 2016 at this time. Dell is actively testing and working closely with Microsoft on WS 2016, but since it is still in development, the exact hardware components/configurations that Dell will fully support are still being determined. The information divulged in our online documents prior to Dell launching and shipping WS2016 may not directly reflect Dell supported product offerings with the final release of WS 2016. We are, however, very interested in your results/feedback/suggestions! Please send them to WinServerBlogs@dell.com or leave comments below.

For the past several years Dell and Microsoft have worked closely together to deliver fully validated Storage Spaces-based private cloud solutions, Storage Spaces-compatible components, workload specific sizing, and optimized management tools based on the highest performing, most innovative Dell PowerEdge servers and Dell PowerVault storage enclosures. If you are looking to deploy a Windows Server® 2012 R2 based Storage Spaces solution in production today then please check out Dell Storage with Microsoft Storage Spaces blog for our fully supported and production ready shared-SAS Storage Spaces solutions information.

Storage Spaces Direct is a new storage virtualization capability introduced in Windows Server® 2016 Technical Preview. Microsoft® provides very good overview and software configuration details here.

Storage Spaces Direct is significant step forward in Microsoft Windows Server software defined storage (SDS) as it simplifies the deployment and management of SDS systems and also unlocks the use of new classes of disk devices, such as SATA HDD, SATA SSD and NVMe, that were not previously possible with Windows Server 2012 R2 clustered Storage Spaces systems.

Storage Spaces Direct introduces new deployment models like hyper-converged, all-flash storage and scalable Storage Spaces clusters. Storage Spaces Direct also introduces other key software technologies like Multi-Resilient Virtual Disks, Software Storage Bus, storage monitoring using Health services and new storage fault tolerance concepts.

The goal of this blog is to enable customer testing and evaluation of Storage Spaces Direct technology using Dell hardware. The hardware configuration outlined in this blog may not necessarily end up being a fully supported, performance- or capacity-optimized configuration with the final release of Windows Server 2016. This blog will be continuously updated based on our learnings and known issues.

Based on our current understanding of Storage Spaces technology we believe following hardware configuration is recommended for evaluating Storage Spaces Direct in multiple deployment models.

Example Hardware Configuration:

  • Server Platform
    • 4 x R730xd in 12+4+2 configuration
  • Storage
    • PERC HBA330 12Gbps SAS Controller Minicard.
    • 12x 4TB SATA 3.5" HDD + 4x 800 GB WI SATA SSD ( Intel S3710)
      • 8x 4TB SATA 3.5" HDD -- Front bay
      • 4x 800 GB WI SATA SSD (Intel S3710) in Front bay
      • 2.5" SSD in 3.5" Hybrid disk Carrier
      • 4x 4TB SATA 3.5" HDD in Internal bay
      • 1x 300GB SAS/SATA,6G,2.5 in Flex bay (OS boot )
  • CPU/ Memory
    • 2x E5-2650 v3 2.3GHz,25M C,105W
    • 96GB(6x16GB) RDIMM , 2133 GHz DDR4 -- For disaggregated deployment
    • 128GB (8x16GB) RDIMM , 2133 GHz DDR4 -- For hyper-converged deployment
  • Network adapters
    • Mellanox ConnectX-3 Pro dual-port 10Gbps
    • Intel x520 10Gb+I350 1GB NDC
  • Network Switch
    • One Dell Networking S4810 or S4048 Switch
  • Management
    • IDRAC 8 Enterprise
  • Platform Security
    • TPM2.0
    • This is optional hardware component and has no impact on storage spaces direct functionality but is a required component for the hyper-converged shielded VM scenario
  • Miscellaneous
    • Slide Rapid Rails with Cable Management Arm
    • SFP+ cables
All these components can be ordered via Dell.com and please work your account/sales team ordering help .

Disk layout:

Disk layout from the factory varies based on how SSDs have been procured and size of the SSD and HDD. Following diagrams illustrates disk layout for the example configuration.

Front bay:

Disk layout

Figure 1: Front bay

Internal bay:

Disk layout

Figure 2: Internal bay

Rear view:

Disk layout
Figure 3:
Rear view

We will continue to expand this blog to include compatible firmware version numbers and PowerShell based configuration information.

Article ID: SLN311012

Last Date Modified: 08/17/2018 04:06 AM

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