Windows servers support the same storage solutions as Windows clients with additional support for enhanced network storage features, such as the Distributed File System. Storage may be implemented as internal, external, and networked storage. Internal storage is usually implemented with hard drives. Hard drives come in many different sizes and form factors, and they should be selected based on storage requirements and performance requirements. Networked storage includes both network attached storage (NAS) and storage area networks (SANs). The FAT file system does not offer the security enhancements offered by the NTFS file system. When implementing internal storage, you must choose between basic and dynamic disks. In most cases, basic disks are used unless software-based RAID is required.
RAID provides fault tolerance or improved performance, and it can be implemented in several different levels. RAID level 0 provides improved performance using at least two drives as a stripe set. RAID level 1 provides fault tolerance using two drives as a mirror set. RAID level 5 provides improved performance and fault tolerance using at least three drives in a stripe set with parity.
- Research the different speeds available in SATA storage solutions.
- Browse the features of a vendor’s SAN solutions.
- View the file system used for a drive on Windows Server 2008 R2.
- Create and mount a VHD file in Windows Server 2008 R2.
Answers for Exercises
- Perform a Google search on the keyword SATA. The Wikipedia article may be used as a reference. Additionally, vendor literature may be located with information about the speeds available.
- Consider browsing the IBM website and looking for their SAN solutions. At the time of this writing, the IBM SAN solutions page was located at http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/storage/san/.
- To view the file system used for a drive, simply right-click on the drive in My Computer (or Computer) and select Properties. The file system will be displayed on the General tab.
- To create and mount a VHD file in Windows Server 2008 R2, use the Disk Management utility with the step-by-step instructions provided earlier in the chapter.
- 1. What file system supports the use of EFS?
- A. FAT
- B. FAT32
- C. exFAT
- D. NTFS
- 2. True or false: exFAT is primarily used for removable media.
- 3. What kind of storage solution provides block-level access across the network in every implementation?
- A. NAS
- B. SAN
- C. SATA
- D. SCSI
- 4. What level of RAID provides mirroring on the drives?
- 5. Why is software-based RAID inferior to hardware-based RAID?
- A. Because software-based RAID does not support the same RAID levels
- B. Because software-based RAID requires the computer’s CPU for RAID processing
- C. Because software-based RAID has a dedicated hardware CPU for RAID processing
- D. Because hardware-based RAID is less expensive
- 6. What type of disk must be used in order to implement software-based RAID in a Windows operating system?
- 7. What Microsoft services can be used to aggregate multiple server shares into one virtual location for user access?
- 8. What is the maximum file size on FAT file system drives?
- A. 4 terabytes
- B. 4 megabytes
- C. 4 kilobytes
- D. 4 gigabytes
- 9. What is the adapter called that provides access to a Fibre Channel SAN?
- A. NIC
- B. HBA
- C. SCSI
- D. NAS
- 10. True or false: You can create a primary partition on a dynamic disk.
Answers for Review Questions
- 1. D Only NTFS supports the Encrypting Files System (EFS), which allows for the encryption of data during storage.
- 2. True Microsoft developed exFAT so that removable media could be formatted and used by multiple systems and so that large volumes could be created.
- 3. B A storage area network (SAN) provides block-level access using either Fibre Channel or iSCSI. Network attached storage (NAS) may provide block-level access, but it often provides file-level access only.
- 4. RAID 1. RAID 1 is mirroring. Mirroring creates a duplicate copy of all data on the mirror drive while using the primary drive as the active drive.
- 5. B Software-based RAID relies on the computer’s CPU to perform RAID processing. For this reason, software-based RAID does not perform as well as hardware-based RAID in most implementations.
- 6. A dynamic disk
- 7. The Distributed File System (DFS)
- 8. D FAT volumes support a maximum of a 4 GB file size. The NTFS file system can support files that are multiple terabytes in size.
- 9. B Both Fibre Channel and iSCSI can use host bus adapters (HBAs) to connect to the SAN. An HBA is a very special kind of adapter that does far more than a standard network interface card (NIC).
- 10. False You can create primary and extended partitions on only basic disks. Dynamic disks contain volumes.