Hi. I need to know the differences in use cases between iscsi, file server, and storage spaces. can you help me on this please? thanks.
Windows Server 2019
I hope all is well. See if this helps to get you going in the right direction.
File Server - The Server Message Block (SMB) protocol is a network file sharing protocol that allows applications on a computer to read and write to files and to request services from server programs in a computer network. The SMB protocol can be used on top of its TCP/IP protocol or other network protocols. Using the SMB protocol, an application (or the user of an application) can access files or other resources at a remote server. This allows applications to read, create, and update files on the remote server. SMB can also communicate with any server program that is set up to receive an SMB client request. SMB is a fabric protocol that is used by Software-defined Data Center (SDDC) computing technologies, such as Storage Spaces Direct, Storage Replica.
Sample use cases:
File storage for virtualization (Hyper-V over SMB) - Hyper-V can store virtual machine files, such as configuration, Virtual hard disk (VHD) files, and snapshots, in file shares over the SMB 3.0 protocol. This can be used for both stand-alone file servers and clustered file servers that use Hyper-V together with shared file storage for the cluster.
Microsoft SQL Server over SMB - SQL Server can store user database files on SMB file shares.
Traditional storage for end-user data - The SMB 3.0 protocol provides enhancements to client workloads. These enhancements include reducing the application latencies experienced by branch office users when accessing data over wide area networks (WAN) and protecting data from eavesdropping attacks.
iSCSI Target Server - a role service in Windows Server that enables you to make storage available via the iSCSI protocol. This is useful for providing access to storage on your Windows server for clients that cannot communicate over the native Windows file sharing protocol, SMB.
Sample use cases:
Network and diskless boot - By using boot-capable network adapters or a software loader, you can deploy hundreds of diskless servers. By using differencing virtual hard disks, you can save up to 90% of the storage space that was used for operating system images. This is ideal for large deployments of identical operating system images, such as on virtual machines running Hyper-V or in high-performance computing (HPC) clusters.
Server application storage - Some applications require block storage. iSCSI Target Server can provide these applications with continuously available block storage. Because the storage is remotely accessible, it can also consolidate block storage for central or branch office locations.
Heterogeneous storage - iSCSI Target Server supports non-Microsoft iSCSI initiators, making it easy to share storage on servers in a mixed software environment.
Development, test, demonstration, and lab environments - When iSCSI Target Server is enabled, a computer running the Windows Server operating system becomes a network-accessible block storage device. This is useful for testing applications prior to deployment in a storage area network (SAN).
Storage Spaces - can help protect your data from drive failures. It is conceptually similar to RAID, implemented in software. You can use Storage Spaces to group three or more drives together into a storage pool and then use capacity from that pool to create Storage Spaces. These typically store extra copies of your data so if one of your drives fails, you still have an intact copy of your data. If you run low on capacity, just add more drives to the storage pool.
There are four major ways to use Storage Spaces:
On a Windows PC
On a stand-alone server with all storage in a single server
On a clustered server using Storage Spaces Direct with local, direct-attached storage in each cluster node
On a clustered server with one or more shared SAS storage enclosures holding all drives