Managing Storage


 

Your Seagate server has predefined volumes. One volume is used for the Windows system software, and another is for data. You cannot modify the system volume, but you can reconfigure the data volume.

Storage Pools Versus RAID

With WSS 2012, you can group physical hard drives into storage pools or RAID configurations. Grouping drives together creates a larger logical unit, increases reliability, and enhances performance.

Storage pools are more flexible and can potentially include hundreds of disks. Storage pools allow you to use the physical disk space more efficiently. Mirrored storage pools can be resistant to disk failure.

RAID allows for storage to be shared between disks in ways that can improve reliability. However, RAID configurations are less flexible than storage pools and are not easily expanded.

Storage pools offer greater flexibility and ease of maintenance. Seagate recommends storage pools over RAID.

 

Note: Disks that are configured for RAID cannot be used in storage pools.


 

Create a storage pool

  1. Open Server Manager.
  2. After Server Manager has polled the server storage, in the left menu, select File and Storage Service.
  3. Under Volumes, select Storage Pools.
  4. Select Tasks > New Storage Pool.
  5. Use the New Storage Pool wizard to create a storage pool.

After the storage pool is created, you can create a virtual disk to make the storage pool available for use.

Add a hard drive to a storage pool

To add a hard drive to a storage pool, it must first be inserted into the server’s enclosure. You cannot add USB or USM hard drives to storage pools.

  1. In Server Manager, select Storage Pools under Volumes.
  2. Right-click the storage pool that you want to expand and select Add Physical Disk.The available physical disks display.
  3. Select the disk to add to the storage pool and click OK.

 

Important: You can view unallocated portions of disks that are added to storage pools in Disk Management. However, if an entire disk has been added to a storage pool, it is not be visible in Disk Management.


 

Virtual Disks

Virtual disks can have one of the following storage layouts:

  • Simple—Data is striped across the physical disks. This layout increases the speed of data access and maximizes storage capacity for the physical disks, but it does not offer fault tolerance.
  • Mirror—Data is written on more than one physical disk. This method reduces capacity, but can protect the data from a single disk failure. Using five physical disks can protect the data form dual disk failures.
  • Parity—Data with parity information is striped across the physical disks. The reduction in total storage capacity is less than a mirror layout. You need at least three physical disks to protect from a single disk failure. This method does not protect the data from multiple simultaneous disk failures.

A virtual disk can have one of the following provisioning systems:

  • Thin—The virtual disk can grow with disk use. It claims space from the storage pool as needed.
  • Fixed—The virtual disk is assigned a fixed amount of storage capacity. It requires specific action from an administrator to grow.

Create a virtual disk

  1. Open Server Manager.
  2. After Server Manager has polled the server storage, in the left menu, select File and Storage Service.
  3. Under Volumes, select Storage Pools and choose the storage pool you want to use for the virtual disk.
  4. Select Tasks > New Virtual Disk.
  5. Use the New Virtual Disk wizard to create a virtual disk.

A virtual disk must have a file system before it can be used by PCs on the network. For more information, see Volumes.

Extend a virtual disk

You can increase the size of a virtual disk.

  1. In Server Manager, select Storage Pools under Volumes.
  2. Select the storage pool that contains the virtual disk.
    The list of virtual disks displays.
  3. Right-click the virtual disk that you want to expand and select Extend Virtual Disk.
  4. Enter the new size and click OK.

RAID Types

RAID levels vary according to the number of hard drives, protection, and performance.

RAID 0 – Striped volume: Unallocated space on two or more drives is combined into a single array. RAID 0 offers a small improvement in performance, but no data protection should a hard drive fail.

RAID 1 – Mirrored volume: Unallocated space on two drives is combined into a single array. The same data is simultaneously written to both drives, providing a measure of data safety if one drive fails. However, you lose 50% of the total disk capacity due to mirroring the data.

RAID 5 – Striped volumes with distributed parity: Unallocated space on at least three hard drives is combined into a single array. RAID 5 offers improved performance and data protection. If one drive fails, the data can be recovered. A RAID-5 volume requires space on at least three separate physical disks. RAID-5 disks use one-third of the space for overhead. For example, if you create a RAID-5 volume from three 1TB drives, the resulting RAID-5 volume is 2TB.

Create a RAID-5 volume

  1. In the upper right of the Server Manager Dashboard, select Tools > Disk Management.
  2. Right–click the disk you want to use and select Convert to Dynamic Disk.
  3. Repeat for each unallocated volume to be used. You must have a minimum of three volumes on three separate hard drives.
  4. Right-click an unallocated volume and select New RAID-5 Volume.
  5. Use the New RAID-5 Volume wizard to create the volume.

The time to complete the process depends on the total capacity. You can use the volume while it creates the RAID volume but performance might be affected.

Volumes

A volume is a logical storage space available to a PC. When the volume is allocated on the virtual disk, it is assigned a size, a drive letter, and a file system.

Using ReFS Versus NTFS

WSS 2012 has two types of file systems: Resilient File System (ReFS) and New Technology File System (NTFS). NTFS has been the principal file system for Windows implementations since 1993. ReFS is based on NTFS, but has been enhanced for storage applications.

ReFS offers the following functionality:

  • Allows for very large files, volumes, and directories.
  • Allows for performance using data striping.
  • Supports disk scrubbing for recovery from latent disk errors.
  • Stores metadata, such as file attributes, with checksums to allow detection and correction of most types of disk corruption.
  • Supports copy-on-write to prevent data corruption from “torn” write tasks. The previous copy is not written over until the new write is complete.
  • Uses B+ trees for performance with both small and large file structures.

ReFS cannot be:

  • Encrypted using Encrypting File System (EFS)
  • Used on a boot drive, removable media, or drives that will be compressed
  • Expanded after the volume is allocated
  • Used for quota management

If you are using NTFS, you can expand or reduce the volume size.

Create a volume

  1. Open Server Manager.
  2. After Server Manager has polled the server storage, in the left menu, select File and Storage Service.
  3. Select Disks to display the virtual disks and unallocated physical disks.
  4. Select the disk for the new volume.
    The system displays the volumes already defined on the disk.
  5. Select Tasks > New Volume.
  6. Use the New Volume wizard to create a volume.

Expand an NTFS volume

  1. Open Server Manager.
  2. After Server Manager has polled the server storage, in the left menu, select File and Storage Service.
  3. Select Volumes to display the volume list.
  4. Right-click the volume to expand and select Extend Volume.
  5. Enter the new size and click OK.

Shrink an NTFS volume

  1. In the upper right of the Server Manager Dashboard, select Tools > Disk Management.
  2. Right-click the volume to reduce and select Shrink Volume.
  3. Enter the amount of storage space to take away from the volume and click Shrink.

BitLocker drive encryption

BitLocker is a volume-level encryption service that protects data on hard drives that have been booted on a foreign operating system or another computer. When BitLocker is used on a data volume, the user is prompted for a password before being able to use its data. When it is used on the system volume, you unlock it using a password or an encrypted key on a USB drive.
You must add BitLocker as a feature to WSS 2012.

Add BitLocker

  1. Open Server Manager and select Local Server in the left column.
  2. Scroll to Roles and Features.
  3. Select Tasks > Add Roles and Features.
  4. Use the Add Roles and Features wizard to add BitLocker.

BitLocker is added as a feature to the target server. After restart, the Control Panel includes BitLocker Drive Encryption under the heading System and Security.

Enable BitLocker drive encryption on a data volume

BitLocker must be installed to enable encryption.

  1. In the Control Panel, select System and Security > BitLocker Drive Encryption.
  2. Select the volume to encrypt and click Turn on BitLocker.
  3. Choose the authentication method, and if necessary, enter the password.
  4. If you are using password protection, choose how to save it.
  5. Choose what to encrypt.
    Keep in mind that even deleted files can be recovered by unauthorized users. If you have deleted files on the volume that should be protected, it is recommended that you encrypt the entire drive.
  6. Click Start.
    A progress bar appears.
  7. When finished, click Close.

Enable BitLocker drive encryption on the system volume

Adding BitLocker encryption to your system volume gives you greater security.

  1. Place your cursor in the upper or lower right corner of the desktop and click the Search tool.
  2. In the Apps search window, type gpedit.msc and click the gpedit.msc icon.
  3. In the left navigation panel, go to Local Computer Policy > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > BitLocker Drive Encryption > Operating System Drives.
  4. Select Require additional authentication at startup.
  5. If you are in the Extended tab at the bottom, select Edit policy setting to open the policy-editing window.
    If you are in the Standard tab at the bottom, the window automatically appears.
  6. Select Enabled. If you cannot select it, select Allow BitLocker without a compatible TPM.
    You can enter a comment about the policy change.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Enable BitLocker data encryption for the system volume using the same steps provided for a data volume.

Unlock a volume

After a volume is encrypted, it must be unlocked after rebooting.

  1. In the Control Panel, select System and Security > BitLocker Drive Encryption.
    A list of volumes displays. The locked volume shows BitLocker On.
  2. Select the volume and click Unlock drive.
  3. Enter the password and click Enter.

You can use the Control Panel option Turn On Auto-Unlock to Automatically Unlock the Volume if the Windows system drive is unlocked. To enable this option, the Windows system drive (C:) must be encrypted. If BitLocker is enabled on the Windows system drive, additional authentication is required during the boot process.

USB and USM Drives

If your Seagate server includes USB ports, you can manage USB hard drives and flash drives with the same tools as conventional disk drives.

It is strongly recommended that you do not add USB drives to volumes associated with internal drives. Removing a USB drive from such a volume can have unpredictable effects on the volume’s data.

Your Seagate server might include a universal storage module (USM) slot that supports SATA II and SATA III hard drives for added storage. A USM drive is ideal for backing up data that you want to transport to a separate location or copy to another computer.

The volumes on the USM drive must be separate from the volumes on internal drives. Seagate recommends that you do not add USM drives to volumes associated with the internal drives.