What is storage spaces direct?Detailed introduction to this object will be displayed in this article, including its definition, features, pros and cons and so on. Read now and learn about it.

About Storage Spaces Direct

What Is Storage Spaces Direct?

Introduced by Microsoft in Windows Server 2016, Storage spaces direct (also known as S2D) is to simplify the development and management of software-defined storage, or to put it simply, it is a way of pooling disk storage to obtain better performance and efficiency.

In Storage Spaces Direct, each node is a “storage controller” that can utilize direct attached storage in various technologies including spindles, SSDs, or NVMe.

The interesting thing is that you can do hyperconverged or disaggregated model configuration in the storage spaces direct configurations. In the disaggregated model, you have separate compute nodes from storage nodes.

Features of Storage Spaces Direct

As an advanced version of storage spaces, S2D succeeds many features of storage spaces, meanwhile it has its own shines, and they are:

  • Needs a minimum of two servers and can support a maximum of 16.
  • Uses SMB3 to communicate between servers.
  • Supports ReFS file system, which is much better than NTFS, especially when it comes to handing metadata.(Tolearn more about file system, such as NTFS and ReFS, please click here.)
  • Use mirroring and erasure coding techniques to provide fault tolerance to virtual disks.
  • Automatically adds available drives to the storage pool.

Two Types of Deployment

The deployment of storage spaces direct embraces two types, namely converged and hyperconverged.

Type 1: Converged

In this type, storage and computer are in different clusters. Siting on top of S2D, a scale-out file server gives network-attached storage for all SMB3 file shares, hence you can scale the workload independently to meet your needs.

Note: The most ideal use of this deployment is in large organizations that tend to use Hyper-V IaaS.

Type 2: Hyperconverged

In this type, storage and computer are in the same clusters, so you don’t need for any additional devices or software.

Note: This deployment is most ideal for small and medium business, and for those that have branches across different geographic regions.

Pros and Cons of Storage Spaces Direct

Every coin comes in two sides. Therefore, let’s learn about the advantages and disadvantages of using storage spaces direct.


  • Excellent performance;
  • Works well with Windows Server failover clustering;
  • High flexible, especially when compared to the rigidity of RAID arrays;
  • Simple networking;
  • High resilient, even against bit-rot and corruption.


  • Little expensive, although it saves the overall storage cost;
  • Needs a minimum of four nodes for optimal performance;
  • Requires an additional tie-breaker mechanism in such a case, although it can support a scaled down infrastructure with just two nodes.

5 Reasons for Using Storage Spaces Direct

In fact, there are various reasons for using storage space direct. This part will show 5 reasons for you.

Easy to Switch

One of the biggest shines of storage spaces direct is its easy setup. Less than 15 minutes witnesses you can switch from an industry-standard server to an S2D cluster.

Highly Resilient

Storage spaces direct is a highly resilient software-defined storage system. In most organizations, glitches happen when the hardware fails. However, in a storage spaces direct, you have the option to simply replace the faulty hardware without having to make any major changes to the software.

Wonderful Performance

If you always encounter with storage performance issues, adopting storage spaces direct is your solution. S2D features a consistent low latency that improves the process of getting data. The most point is that its architecture and built-in read or write cache greatly improves the performance of your storage cluster.

High Efficiency

According to Microsoft, storage spaces direct comes in high efficiency in terms of storage, since it can deliver up to 2.4x more efficient storage ReFS real-time tires, and local reconstruction codes that minimize CPU consumption.

Immediate Indention

Based on the performance of drivers, storage spaces direct detects them within a pool. For instance, if a drive within a pool is showing any kind of unusual performance, S2D can identify it right away, so the chance for latency issues is greatly reduced.

  • linkedin
  • reddit