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Windows 8 Beta ‘Storage Spaces’ Helps Virtualizing Storage for Scale, Resiliency, and Efficiency

In a January 5 blog post titled “Virtualizing storage for scale, resiliency, and efficiency,” Steve Sinofsky talks about a new capability of Windows 8 called “Storage Spaces.” The post authored by Rajeev Nagar, a group program manager on Storage and File System team, details this new feature “Storage Spaces” in Windows 8 are going to dramatically improve how you manage large volumes of storage at home (and work).”

In a nutshell, Storage Spaces allow:

  • “Organization of physical disks into storage pools, which can be easily expanded by simply adding disks. These disks can be connected either through USB, SATA (Serial ATA), or SAS (Serial Attached SCSI). A storage pool can be composed of heterogeneous physical disks – different sized physical disks accessible via different storage interconnects.
  • Usage of virtual disks (also known as spaces), which behave just like physical disks for all purposes. However, spaces also have powerful new capabilities associated with them such as thin provisioning (more about that later), as well as resiliency to failures of underlying physical media,” writes Nagar.

Nagar explains that in Windows 8 Beta, you can simply go to Control Panel and walk through the sequence below to create a storage pool:

(a) To create our pool and a mirrored space, go to Control Panel, click System and Security, and then Storage Spaces.

Click Create a new pool and storage space.

windows 8 storage space: pool

Select the drives you want to add to the new pool.

windows 8 beta: creating storage pool

Select your resiliency mechanism and other options. Note that you can assign a drive letter and format the resultant volume as part of creating the space.

select name & device for windows 8 storage pool

(b) To add a couple of disks to an existing pool, select the drives you want to add.

manage windows 8 storage pool

(c) To create an additional parity space, click Create a storage space, and then select Parity from the layout options.

format drives for windows 8 storgae pool

formatted drive for windows 8 storage pool

name, layout for windows 8 storgae pool

(d) In the event you start running out of capacity, expect a notification like this:

windows 8 storage pool notification

Click the notification to see information about the problem and how to fix it.

windows 8 storage pool notification

That’s all you need to do to start using Storage Spaces. Once the spaces have been created, you can utilize them just like any other “disk.” For example, you can turn on BitLocker for the spaces you have created, as shown below:

windows 8 beta storgage pool

windows 8 beta storage pool

Here is the official FAQ on Storage SPaces:

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