When one thinks about disk level redundancy, thoughts almost always go to hardware level RAID controllers and their various capabilities. RAID as we know it now was defined in the late 1980’s by researchers at Berkley. The idea behind developing this as a standard was storage virtualization and data protection. RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 are the most commonly used forms and each has its own advantage.
But what if we could get away from relying on these archaic data protection methods? What if there was a new way to protect our data? Windows Server 2012 may provide such an avenue for those willing to give it a chance. While software RAID is normally frowned upon by most admins, Server 2012 provides a viable alternative in its new storage technology called Storage Spaces.
Storage spaces manages all your physical disks at the high level by using pooling. One can implement volumes using methods such as simple, mirroring, and of course parity. These may sound like some of terms used in traditional hardware RAID but they can all be employed at the OS level using an OS integrated tool. This could be a great thing for many admins by saving you money, via the utilization of less expensive disk controllers. I would love to see some Dell administrators out there use this tool with the latest 12th generation servers along with Hyper-V 3.0. Together they could have a huge impact on one’s the bottom line and disk management.