SDDC extension update in Windows Admin Center

Create thinly provisioned volumes in Windows Admin Center

Thin provisioning is a standout feature exclusive to Azure Stack 21H2 and offers flexible capacity management. With thin provisioning, is allocated when needed and volumes can be over-provisioned (size larger than available capacity) to accommodate anticipated growth. In contrast, fixed provisioning allocates all the storage up front at the time of volume creation. This is inefficient when the volume is empty and prevents other volumes from making use of that storage.

Now you can create a thinly provisioned volume in Windows . In Manager, go to Volumes -> Inventory -> + Create to bring up the new volume creation pane. Fixed and Thin provisioning options are available under the More options dropdown and there is a tooltip to help with the selection. 

Thin volume 4 node.png

When the selection is set to Fixed provisioning, you cannot overprovision a volume. Once the selection is changed to Thin, the guidance around maximum volume size changes and you can create a volume that is greater than the pool's available capacity.

Thin error.png

The new Maximum volume size field is dynamically calculated based on your resiliency settings, provisioning type, media type and file system guidelines. This is not a recommendation of volume size but rather an upper ceiling for what your volume size can be. The Footprint and Available capacity fields are removed from the volume creation pane. Since the entire size of a thinly provisioned volume is not allocated up front, the Footprint field cannot be calculated simply based on resiliency settings.

To set the pool default provisioning type, go to Manager -> Settings -> Storage Spaces and pools -> Default provisioning type. This selection will determine what the default selection is in the create volume pane.

Nested resiliency can now be configured in Windows Admin Center

For two node clusters, Nested resiliency offers more protection in the event of multiple drives or nodes failing simultaneously. Users can now create a Nested 2-way mirror and Nested mirror accelerated parity volume in Windows . Simply go to Manager -> Volumes -> Inventory -> + Create and select Nested 2-way mirror or Nested mirror accelerated parity in the Resiliency dropdown.


More options for Stretched clusters

Optional features like Integrity checksums and can now be enabled for stretch clusters during volume creation in Windows . Previously this was only available to non-stretch clusters and setup had to be in PowerShell. At this time, thin provisioning is not available for volumes across multiple sites.

Feature removal from the new volume creation panel

While this new extension update offers many improvements, there are also capabilities no longer being supported in Windows Admin Center or during volume creation.

The first is the creation of multi-tiered single resiliency volumes via Windows Admin Center. In deployments with 3 media types (NVMe, SSD, HDD), the fastest drive (NVMe) will provide caching, leaving two types of drives (SSD and HDD) to provide capacity. For new volumes created in Windows Admin Center, you must pick a single media tier for the volume will reside on. Users will have to use PowerShell for the creation and management of capacity volumes that span across 2 different media tiers.

// 3-way mirror volume spanning the SSD and HDD tiers
New-Volume -FriendlyName "MirrorDemoVolume" -FileSystem CSVFS_ReFS -StoragePoolFriendlyName S2D* -StorageTierFriendlyNames MirrorOnSSD, MirrorOnHDD -StorageTierSizes 300GB, 700GB

// Mirror accelerated parity volume volume spanning SSD and HDD tiers
New-Volume -FriendlyName "MAPDemoVolume" -FileSystem CSVFS_ReFS -StoragePoolFriendlyName S2D* -StorageTierFriendlyNames MirrorOnSSD, ParityOnHDD -StorageTierSizes 300GB, 700GB

The second change is the removal of Data deduplication & compression from volume creation pane. The feature can still be accessed in the volume's property page after creation.



This article was originally published by Microsoft's Secure Blog. You can find the original article here.