Microsoft Warns of Storage Spaces Flaw in Windows Server 2012 R2

Microsoft today warned of a problem with using the Storage Spaces feature of Windows Server 2012 R2 when used with Windows Azure.

The problem has to do with the physical disk size reported by virtual hard disks (VHDs) running on Windows Azure. The reported size "isn't compatible with Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage Spaces," according to Microsoft's Windows Server support team, in a blog post.

Windows Server 2012 R2 users can see this problem in Server Manager, which won't properly count the physical disks. PowerShell will return "CanPool=False" when counting up physical disks using the Get-PhysicalDisk cmdlet.

Microsoft is planning to deliver a fix for the problem in January. In the meantime, the Windows Server support team is recommending that organizations use Windows Server 2012 Storage Spaces, instead of Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage Spaces, when tapping VHDs in Windows Azure. The non-R2 version of the server apparently doesn't have this flaw.

Storage Spaces is a major feature of Windows Server 2012, and Microsoft improved it in Windows Server 2012 R2 by enabling a tiering capability. Storage Spaces tiering lets organizations create a single virtual disk (known as the "storage pool") that combines the storage capacities from a collection of hard disks (USB, SATA and SAS) and solid-state disks.

IT organizations can add failover protections via two-way mirroring or three-way mirroring of the disks within a storage pool. Microsoft also enhanced the data deduplication and resiliency capabilities of Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 R2.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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