Windows Server Administration/Storage

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This lesson covers Windows Server storage. Activities include comparing storage types, working with a variety of disks, volumes, and virtual hard disks.

Objectives and Skills[edit]

Objectives and skills for the Understanding Storage portion of Windows Server Administration Fundamentals certification include:[1]

  • Identify storage technologies: advantages and disadvantages of different storage types; local (SATA, SCSI, IDE); NAS; SAN; fibre channel; iSCSI; NFS; FC HBA and FC switches; iSCSI hardware
  • Understand RAID: RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 and combinations; hardware and software RAID
  • Understand disk types: ATA; basic disk; dynamic disk; mount points; file systems; mounting a virtual hard disk; distributed file systems; optical disks

Readings[edit]

  1. Wikipedia: Computer data storage
  2. Wikipedia: Serial attached SCSI
  3. Wikipedia: Network-attached storage
  4. Wikipedia: Storage Area Network
  5. Wikipedia: iSCSI
  6. Wikipedia: RAID
  7. Wikipedia: Disk partitioning
  8. Wikipedia: Logical Disk Manager
  9. Wikipedia: File system
  10. Wikipedia: Distributed File System (Microsoft)

Multimedia[edit]

  1. YouTube: IST 110 Semester Project: Computer Storage
  2. YouTube: RAID Levels, Dynamic Disks and Files Systems in Windows 7 and 2008 Server - Part 1 of 2
  3. YouTube: RAID Levels, Dynamic Disks and Files Systems in Windows 7 and 2008 Server - Part 2 of 2
  4. YouTube: Using VHD files and Native Boot in Windows 7
  5. YouTube: Setting Up a DFS (Distributed File System) Server

Activities[edit]

  1. Research pricing for SATA vs. SCSI. Compare pricing to equivalent NAS and SAN.
  2. Review Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Step-by-Step Guide. Connect to an iSCSI target.
  3. Review Basic and Dynamic Disks. Create a basic disk.
  4. Review Basic and Dynamic Disks. Convert the basic disk to a dynamic disk.
  5. Create a spanned volume.
  6. Create a mirrored volume.
  7. Break the mirror.
  8. Review RAID levels for Windows environments. Create a RAID 5 volume.
  9. Review File Systems. Create a FAT partition. Convert the partition to NTFS.
  10. Mount a partition using a folder path.
  11. Review Create and Use a Virtual Hard Disk on Windows 7. Create a new virtual hard disk file, then mount and format it.

Lesson Summary[edit]

  • Computer data storage, often called storage or memory, is a technology consisting of computer components and recording media used to retain digital data.[2]
  • Primary storage (or main memory or internal memory), often referred to simply as memory, is the only one directly accessible to the CPU. It is typically implemented as Random Access Memory (RAM) and is volatile, with access time measured in nanoseconds.[3]
  • Secondary storage (also known as external memory or auxiliary storage), differs from primary storage in that it is not directly accessible by the CPU. It is typically implemented using some type of hard disk drive and is non-volatile, with access time measured in milliseconds.[4]
  • Tertiary storage typically involves a robotic mechanism which will mount (insert) and dismount removable mass storage media into a storage device according to system demands, with access time measured in seconds.[5]
  • Serial ATA replaced the older AT Attachment standard (ATA; later referred to as Parallel ATA or PATA) based on advantages of reduced cable size and cost (seven conductors instead of 40), native hot swapping, faster data transfer through higher signalling rates, and more efficient transfer through an (optional) I/O queuing protocol.[6]
  • Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) replaced the older parallel SCSI based on similar advantages of reduced cable size and costs and faster transfer rates.[7]
  • SAS controllers support SATA drives, but SAS drives cannot be used with SATA controllers.[8]
  • SAS supports greater error recovery functionality, higher voltages, and longer cables when compared to SATA, making SAS more appropriate for server environments.[9]
  • Network-attached storage (NAS) is a file-level computer data storage device connected to a computer network and providing data access to a heterogeneous group of clients.[10]
  • NAS devices typically provide access to files using a variety of network file sharing protocols including NFS, SMB/CIFS, or AFP.[11]
  • iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface) is an IP-based storage networking standard for linking data storage facilities by carrying SCSI commands over IP networks to facilitate data transfers over intranets and manage storage over long distances.[12]
  • iSCSI clients are referred to as initiators. iSCSI resources are referred to as targets.[13]
  • RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a storage technology that combines multiple disk drive components into a logical unit. Data is distributed across the drives in one of several ways called "RAID levels", depending on the level of redundancy and performance required.[14]
  • RAID 0 (striping without parity) has no (or zero) redundancy. It provides improved performance and additional storage but no fault tolerance.[15]
  • RAID 1 (mirroring) has data written identically to two drives, thereby producing a "mirrored set". Read requests may be processed by either drive, potentially improving read performance. [16]
  • RAID 5 (striping with parity) distributes parity along with the data and requires all drives but one to be present to operate. Upon single drive failure, any subsequent reads can be calculated from the distributed parity such that the drive failure is masked from the end user. RAID 5 requires at least three disks.[17]
  • RAID 10 (mirroring and striping) , often referred to as RAID 1+0, has data is written in stripes across primary disks that have been mirrored to secondary disks.[18]
  • RAID may be implemented either in a hardware controller or by the operating system. Hardware-based RAID does not require system processor resources.[19]
  • Windows supports two types of disk structures: basic disks and dynamic disks. Basic disks have traditional primary or extended partitions and are compatible with other operating systems but must reside on a single physical disk and only support simple volumes. Dynamic disks may contain volumes that span up to 32 physical disks and support simple, spanned, striped, mirrored, and RAID-5 volumes.[20][21]
  • Windows supports two types of partition tables: MBR and GPT.[22] MBR is limited to drives of 2 TB or less.[23] GPT supports larger drive sizes, but requires a UEFI-based system rather than one based on a traditional BIOS. Only 64-bit versions of Windows support GPT.[24]
  • Windows supports FAT, NTFS, exFAT and ReFS file systems, with ReFS only supported in Windows Server 2012.[25]
  • Virtual hard disks can be mounted in Windows using the Microsoft Management Console Disk Management snap-in. VHD files may be created, initialized, mounted, and unmounted.[26]
  • Distributed File System (DFS) is a set of client and server services that allow an organization using Microsoft Windows servers to organize many distributed SMB file shares into a distributed file system. DFS provides location transparency and redundancy to improve data availability in the face of failure or heavy load by allowing shares in multiple different locations to be logically grouped under one folder, or DFS root.[27]

Key Terms[edit]

ATA (AT Attachment)
An interface standard for the connection of storage devices such as hard disks, floppy drives, and optical disc drives in computers.[28]
ATAPI (AT Attachment Packet Interface)
Another name for the ATA interface standard.[29]
cyclic redundancy check (CRC)
An error-detecting code commonly used in digital networks and storage devices to detect accidental changes to raw data.[30]
data compression
The encoding of information using fewer bits than the original representation before it is stored or transmitted.[31]
encryption
The process of encoding messages (or information) in such a way that eavesdroppers or hackers cannot read it, but that authorized parties can.[32]
exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
A Microsoft proprietary file system optimized for flash drives.[33]
FAT (File Allocation Table)
A legacy file system compatible with virtually all existing personal computer operating systems, and thus is a well-suited format for data exchange between computers and devices of almost any type.[34]
Fibre Channel (FC)
A high-speed network technology (commonly running at 2-, 4-, 8- and 16-gigabit speeds) primarily used for storage area networks.[35]
Fiber Channel switch
A network switch compatible with the Fibre Channel (FC) protocol.[36]
GPT (GUID Partition Table)
A standard for the layout of the partition table on a physical hard disk, using globally unique identifiers (GUID).[37]
host bus adapter (HBA)
A controller card which connects a host system (the computer) to other network and storage devices, primarily used with controllers that connect to SCSI, Fibre Channel and eSATA devices.[38]
hot spare
A redundant device or system used as a failover mechanism to provide reliability, with the hot designation indicating that the spare is powered on, active, and connected as part of the working system.[39]
IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics)
The original name for what became the ATA / ATAPI / PATA standard.[40]
iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface)
An Internet Protocol (IP)-based storage networking standard for linking data storage over local or wide area networks.[41]
LUN (Logical Unit Number)
A number used to identify a logical unit, which is a device addressed by the SCSI protocol or protocols which encapsulate SCSI, such as Fibre Channel or iSCSI, and used to refer to a logical disk as created on a SAN.[42]
MBR (Master Boot Record)
A special type of boot sector at the very beginning of partitioned computer mass storage devices like fixed disks or removable drives intended for use with IBM PC-compatible systems and beyond, limited to drives of 2 TB or less.[43]
mount point
A specialized NTFS filesystem object which is used to mount and provide an entry point to other volumes.[44]
NFS (Network File System)
A distributed file system protocol originally developed by Sun Microsystems in 1984, allowing a user on a client computer to access files over a network in a manner similar to how local storage is accessed.[45]
Non-volatile memory
Memory that will retain the stored information even if it is not constantly supplied with electric power.[46]
NTFS (New Technology File System)
A proprietary file system developed by Microsoft Corporation for its Windows NT and later line of operating systems, and supporting performance, reliability, and security features.[47]
optical disk
A flat, usually circular disc which encodes binary data (bits) in the form of pits (binary value of 0 or off, due to lack of reflection when read) and lands (binary value of 1 or on, due to a reflection when read) on a special material (often aluminium) on one of its flat surfaces.[48]
partition
a logical hard disk drive storage unit, allowing one physical disk drive to be treated as if it were multiple disks so that different filesystems can be used on each partition.[49]
random access
Any location in storage can be accessed at any moment in approximately the same amount of time, used for primary and secondary storage.[50]
PATA (Parallel ATA)
Another name for the ATA interface standard.[51]
ReFS (Resilient File System)
A new file system in Windows Server 2012 intended for file servers that improves on NTFS reliability and resilience.[52]
SAN (storage area network)
A dedicated network that provides access to consolidated, block level data storage and primarily used to make storage devices, such as disk arrays, tape libraries, and optical jukeboxes, accessible to servers so that the devices appear like locally attached devices to the operating system.[53]
SATA (Serial ATA)
A computer bus interface that connects host bus adapters to mass storage devices such as hard disk drives and optical drives, which replaced Parallel ATA.[54]
SCSI (Small Computer System Interface)
A set of standards for physically connecting and transferring data between computers and peripheral devices.[55]
sequential access
Locations in storage must be accessed in a serial order, one after the other, used for tertiary and offline storage.[56]
UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface)
A specification that defines a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware, meant to replace the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) firmware interface present in all IBM PC-compatible personal computers.[57]
VHD (Virtual Hard Disk)
A file format which represents a virtual hard disk drive.[58]
volatile memory
Memory that requires constant power to maintain the stored information.[59]

Review Questions[edit]

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  1. Computer data storage, often called _____, is a technology consisting of _____ used to retain digital data.
    Computer data storage, often called storage or memory, is a technology consisting of computer components and recording media used to retain digital data.
  2. Primary storage _____, often referred to simply as _____, is the only one _____. It is typically implemented as _____ and is _____, with access time measured in _____.
    Primary storage (or main memory or internal memory), often referred to simply as memory, is the only one directly accessible to the CPU. It is typically implemented as Random Access Memory (RAM) and is volatile, with access time measured in nanoseconds.
  3. Secondary storage (also known as _____), differs from primary storage in that it _____. It is typically implemented using _____ and is _____, with access time measured in _____.
    Secondary storage (also known as external memory or auxiliary storage), differs from primary storage in that it is not directly accessible by the CPU. It is typically implemented using some type of hard disk drive and is non-volatile, with access time measured in milliseconds.
  4. Tertiary storage typically involves _____, with access time measured in _____.
    Tertiary storage typically involves a robotic mechanism which will mount (insert) and dismount removable mass storage media into a storage device according to system demands, with access time measured in seconds.
  5. Serial ATA replaced the older _____ standard (later referred to as _____) based on advantages of _____, _____, _____, and _____.
    Serial ATA replaced the older AT Attachment standard (ATA; later referred to as Parallel ATA or PATA) based on advantages of reduced cable size and cost (seven conductors instead of 40), native hot swapping, faster data transfer through higher signalling rates, and more efficient transfer through an (optional) I/O queuing protocol.
  6. Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) replaced the older _____ based on similar advantages of _____ and _____ and _____.
    Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) replaced the older parallel SCSI based on similar advantages of reduced cable size and costs and faster transfer rates.
  7. SAS controllers support _____ drives, but SAS drives cannot be used with _____ controllers.
    SAS controllers support SATA drives, but SAS drives cannot be used with SATA controllers.
  8. SAS supports greater _____, higher _____, and longer _____ when compared to SATA, making SAS more appropriate for _____ environments.
    SAS supports greater error recovery functionality, higher voltages, and longer cables when compared to SATA, making SAS more appropriate for server environments.
  9. Network-attached storage (NAS) is a _____ connected to a _____ and providing data access to _____.
    Network-attached storage (NAS) is a file-level computer data storage device connected to a computer network and providing data access to a heterogeneous group of clients.
  10. NAS devices typically provide access to files using a variety of network file sharing protocols including _____, _____, or _____.
    NAS devices typically provide access to files using a variety of network file sharing protocols including NFS, SMB/CIFS, or AFP.
  11. iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface) is an _____ for _____ by _____ to _____.
    iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface) is an IP-based storage networking standard for linking data storage facilities by carrying SCSI commands over IP networks to facilitate data transfers over intranets and manage storage over long distances.
  12. iSCSI clients are referred to as _____. iSCSI resources are referred to as _____.
    iSCSI clients are referred to as initiators. iSCSI resources are referred to as targets.
  13. RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a storage technology that _____. Data is distributed across the drives in one of several ways called "RAID levels", depending on _____.
    RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a storage technology that combines multiple disk drive components into a logical unit. Data is distributed across the drives in one of several ways called "RAID levels", depending on the level of redundancy and performance required.
  14. RAID 0 (_____) has _____redundancy. It provides _____ and _____ but no _____.
    RAID 0 (striping without parity) has no (or zero) redundancy. It provides improved performance and additional storage but no fault tolerance.
  15. RAID 1 (_____) has data written _____, thereby producing a "_____ set". Read requests may be processed by _____, potentially improving _____.
    RAID 1 (mirroring) has data written identically to two drives, thereby producing a "mirrored set". Read requests may be processed by either drive, potentially improving read performance.
  16. RAID 5 (_____) distributes _____ along with the data and requires _____ to operate. Upon _____ failure, any subsequent reads can be _____ such that the drive failure is masked from the end user. RAID 5 requires at least _____ disks.
    RAID 5 (striping with parity) distributes parity along with the data and requires all drives but one to be present to operate. Upon single drive failure, any subsequent reads can be calculated from the distributed parity such that the drive failure is masked from the end user. RAID 5 requires at least three disks.
  17. RAID 10 (_____) , often referred to as _____, has data is written _____ across _____ that have been _____ to secondary disks.
    RAID 10 (mirroring and striping) , often referred to as RAID 1+0, has data is written in stripes across primary disks that have been mirrored to secondary disks.
  18. RAID may be implemented either in _____ or by _____. Hardware-based RAID does not require _____.
    RAID may be implemented either in a hardware controller or by the operating system. Hardware-based RAID does not require system processor resources.
  19. Windows supports two types of disk structures: _____ disks and _____ disks. _____ disks have traditional _____ and are compatible with _____ but must reside on _____ and only support _____. _____ disks may contain _____ that span up to _____ and support _____, _____, _____, _____, and _____.
    Windows supports two types of disk structures: basic disks and dynamic disks. Basic disks have traditional primary or extended partitions and are compatible with other operating systems but must reside on a single physical disk and only support simple volumes. Dynamic disks may contain volumes that span up to 32 physical disks and support simple, spanned, striped, mirrored, and RAID-5 volumes.
  20. Windows supports two types of partition tables: _____ and _____. _____ supports drives _____. _____ supports larger drive sizes, but requires _____. Only 64-bit versions of Windows support ___.
    Windows supports two types of partition tables: MBR and GPT. MBR supports drives 2 TB or less. GPT supports larger drive sizes, but requires a UEFI-based system rather than one based on a traditional BIOS. Only 64-bit versions of Windows support GPT.
  21. Windows supports _____, _____, _____ and _____ file systems, with _____ only supported in Windows Server 2012.
    Windows supports FAT, NTFS, exFAT and ReFS file systems, with ReFS only supported in Windows Server 2012.
  22. Virtual hard disks can be mounted in Windows using _____. VHD files may be _____, _____, _____, and _____.
    Virtual hard disks can be mounted in Windows using the Microsoft Management Console Disk Management snap-in. VHD files may be created, initialized, mounted, and unmounted.
  23. Distributed File System (DFS) is a set of client and server services that allow _____ to organize _____ into _____. DFS provides _____ and _____ to improve _____ in the face of _____ by allowing _____.
    Distributed File System (DFS) is a set of client and server services that allow an organization using Microsoft Windows servers to organize many distributed SMB file shares into a distributed file system. DFS provides location transparency and redundancy to improve data availability in the face of failure or heavy load by allowing shares in multiple different locations to be logically grouped under one folder, or DFS root.

Flashcards[edit]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

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  1. Microsoft: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals Exam Details
  2. Wikipedia: Computer data storage
  3. Wikipedia: Computer data storage
  4. Wikipedia: Computer data storage
  5. Wikipedia: Computer data storage
  6. Wikipedia: Serial ATA
  7. Wikipedia: Serial attached SCSI
  8. Wikipedia: Serial attached SCSI
  9. Wikipedia: Serial attached SCSI
  10. Wikipedia: Network-attached storage
  11. Wikipedia: Network-attached storage
  12. Wikipedia: iSCSI
  13. Wikipedia: iSCSI
  14. Wikipedia: RAID
  15. Wikipedia: RAID
  16. Wikipedia: RAID
  17. Wikipedia: RAID
  18. Wikipedia: RAID
  19. Wikipedia: RAID
  20. Wikipedia: Logical Disk Manager
  21. Basic and Dynamic Disks
  22. Wikipedia: Logical Disk Manager
  23. Wikipedia: Master Boot Record
  24. Wikipedia: GUID Partition Table
  25. Wikipedia: File system
  26. Create and Use a Virtual Hard Disk on Windows 7
  27. Wikipedia: Distributed File System (Microsoft)
  28. Wikipedia: Parallel ATA
  29. Wikipedia: Parallel ATA
  30. Wikipedia: Cyclic redundancy check
  31. Wikipedia: Data compression
  32. Wikipedia: Encryption
  33. Wikipedia: exFAT
  34. Wikipedia: File Allocation Table
  35. Wikipedia: Fibre Channel
  36. Wikipedia: Fibre Channel switch
  37. Wikipedia: GUID Partition Table
  38. Wikipedia: Host adapter
  39. [[Wikipedia: Hot spare
  40. Wikipedia: Parallel ATA
  41. Wikipedia: iSCSI
  42. Wikipedia: Logical unit number
  43. Wikipedia: Master boot record
  44. Wikipedia: NTFS volume mount point
  45. Wikipedia: Network File System
  46. Wikipedia: Computer data storage
  47. Wikipedia: NTFS
  48. Wikipedia: Optical disc
  49. Wikipedia: Disk partitioning
  50. Wikipedia: Computer data storage
  51. Wikipedia: Parallel ATA
  52. Wikipedia: Windows_Server_2012#ReFS
  53. Wikipedia: Storage area network
  54. Wikipedia: Serial ATA
  55. Wikipedia: SCSI
  56. Wikipedia: Computer data storage
  57. Wikipedia: Unified Extensible Firmware Interface
  58. Wikipedia: VHD (file format)
  59. Wikipedia: Computer data storage