Windows Server 2019 is primed to provide a number of advantages over existing pieces of system software based on the NT kernel. Microsoft summarized the changes earlier in the week, and it now looks like the new operating system will be able to support massive Direct Pools.
Storage Spaces Direct empowers system administrators to pool disk space into a single large area, which isn’t a new concept by any means. Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Edition had the ability to do this two years ago. Even the 2012 revision of the server package had some basic pooling capabilities. What this update does, however, has started to make some headlines.
Cosmos Darwin, a program manager assigned to Microsoft’s Windows Server product development team, says that Redmond will soon quadruple the amount of storage space a pool could hold.
This translates into massive pools that are up to four petabytes. New disks can be automatically added to a pool as soon as they’re mounted, which makes the process much easier to deal with than any that are based on manual volume accounting.
Organizations that can’t afford more expensive storage solutions may wish to look into assembling collections of relatively inexpensive storage devices based on regular SATA or NVMe interfaces. While a collection like this could still be quite pricey, it’s far less expensive than other competing technologies. It’s also much easier to deal with than more traditional RAID assemblies.
Two-node support will also be built into the new version of Storage Spaces Direct. It can apparently work with infrastructure that’s been scaled down to just two separate nodes. While you might think that you’d need a separate server, virtual machine or web connection to act as a tie breaker, Darwin promises that a regular USB thumb drive can perform the same task when working with this feature.
USB thumb drives aren’t strangers to server rooms by any means, so this should represent a low-cost solution that can be deployed even in areas that don’t have outside connections or server shares. It doesn’t even need to have Active Directory support enabled, which might be useful for those who worked in very locked down environments with many Windows Server features disabled.