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Dell Storage with Microsoft Storage Spaces Deployment Guide

Step-by-step expansion for Dell Storage with Microsoft Storage Spaces

As your system performance and disk space capacity needs grow, the DSMS solution can be expanded to add new physical disks, storage enclosures, and servers to fulfill these needs. There are three different types of expansions to an existing DSMS solution:
  1. Adding new physical disks to existing storage enclosures to increase the usable capacity or performance of the solution.
  2. Adding a new storage enclosure to increase the usable capacity or performance of the solution.
  3. Adding a new server to provide additional scale-out capability for new file shares (Scale-Out File Server solutions) or provide additional compute capacity (Converged solutions).

These step-by-step instructions provide a method to expand the capacity in each of these three scenarios. Each of these expansion scenarios can be completed while the existing cluster and storage remains online, when data paths remain available to all enclosures throughout the procedure.

  • NOTE: If you want to perform an offline upgrade during any of these procedures, you must turn off an existing storage enclosure with virtual disks. Prior to turning off the enclosure, set the RetireMissingPhysicalDisksPolicy to Never for the affected storage pools. Ensure that you set it to the original setting after the procedure is complete and the enclosure is turned on.

Dell recommends that, when expanding a storage pool, you must add physical disks in a quantity equal to the column count of the largest virtual disk multiplied by the number of data copies, plus any additional physical disks required for automatic rebuilds. For example, for a two-way mirror virtual disk, if the column count is four, you must add a minimum of eight physical disks to the pool to expand the virtual disk.

When expanding existing or creating new virtual disks that have enclosure awareness enabled, there are additional considerations that must be taken into account. Enclosure awareness spreads the data copies of virtual disks across three or more storage enclosures. However, when you are adding new physical disks or storage enclosures, on the basis of existing virtual disk layout, virtual disks created on the newly added physical disk space may not be enclosure aware. This can occur if there is not sufficient free disk space, or if the physical disks are not distributed properly to spread the new data copies in a method, which satisfies the enclosure awareness requirements.

  • NOTE: All the documents referred in the following tasks are available at

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