Hi all, I'm getting ready to administer 2 win 2012 servers for the sole purpose as file servers and sharing data. By trade I am not a systems admin, I only work as a dba so this is completely new to me. I wanted to know if creating storage pools is best if you have quite a few SAS TB hard drives and need to configure the hardware raid? I'm about to install the server but never configured the hardware raid and need to figure out how to do that soon. But once done, do you still create storage pools or is that something that is done on the raid controller and storage pools arent needed? Trying to figure out which tools is best for file servers..
Win Serv 2012 File server
@FI I'm sure I don't have the most experience here but I'm happy to share my opinion. Without knowing the exact specs of the systems its a bit difficult to make a recommendation. These are my thoughts on the topic.
Storage Pools are really cool, but Hardware RAID is still better :). Depending on your controller I would probably recommend you go with the hardware raid. The only time I would go with storage pools instead is if the system use some kind of "fake raid" or if you have many open ports on the controller that you will be adding drives to later. Some hardware raid controllers do not support expansion of volumes so you will end up with multiple LUN's when you add disks to it later whereas storage pools can be expanded dynamically even with dissimilar drives. That's really the big benefit of storage pools the fact that you can grab all different kinds of drives and turn them into one cohesive storage location with fault tolerance. So if you already have all the drives you want and you have hardware raid (storage pools uses software parity so you have a performance hit), I would probably go with hardware raid. Once you created the LUN your OS will see it as a single disk. The raid controller will hide all the disks and funky raid stuff form the OS. You can just set this new volume as a dynamic disk and format it with NTFS. Remember to setup your RAID controllers specific management software so that you can get alerts on the status of your array.
Just my two cents, hope it helps