Windows 10 comes with a slew of new features and enhancements to existing ones, many of which you may not be aware of. One such feature is Storage Spaces. Storage Spaces was first released in Windows 8.1. Storage Spaces in Windows 10 can help protect your data from storage issues like drive failures and read errors.
Storage Spaces are storage groups that consist of two or more drives. Storage Spaces are the collective storage capacity of a storage group that is used to create virtual drives. Storage Spaces typically keep two copies of your data, ensuring that if one of your drives fails, you still have a working copy of your data. You can always add more drives to the storage pool if you run out of space.
Storage Spaces can be used on a Windows 10 PC in this way, but there are three other ways to use Storage Spaces:
- Deploy on a stand-alone server.
- Deploy on a clustered server using Storage Spaces Direct.
- Deploy on a clustered server with one or more shared SAS storage enclosures holding all drives.
Way to Create a Storage Space
To create Storage Spaces, you’ll need at least two additional drives in addition to the one where Windows 10 is installed. An internal or external hard drive (HDD) or a solid state drive (SSD) can be used (SSD). Storage Spaces supports a wide range of drive formats, including USB, SATA, ATA, and SAS drives. MicroSD cards are not compatible with Storage Spaces. Storage Spaces can significantly increase the amount of storage on your Windows 10 PC, depending on the size and number of storage devices you use.
The following are the steps to creating a Storage Space:
- To create a Storage Space, you must add or connect at least two drives.
- Type “Storage Spaces” in the search box on the taskbar, and then select Manage Storage Spaces from the list of search results.
- Create a new pool and storage space by clicking the Create a new pool and storage space button.
- Select the drives you want to include in the new storage space, then Create pool.
- Choose a layout after giving the drive a name and letter. Two-way mirror, three-way mirror, and parity are the three layouts available.
- Select Create storage space after entering the maximum size the storage space can be.
Different Storage Space Types
- Simple – Simple spaces are intended to improve performance, but you should avoid them if you want to keep your data safe from driver failure. Temporary data is best stored in simple spaces. To be used, simple spaces require at least two drives.
- Mirror – Mirror spaces are intended to improve performance while also protecting your data from hard drive failure. Multiple copies of your data are stored in mirror spaces. There are two types of mirror spaces, each with its own set of functions.
- Two-way Mirror spaces duplicate your data twice and can withstand a single drive failure. At least two drives are required to operate this mirror space.
- Three-way Mirror spaces duplicate your data three times and can handle two drive failures. At least five drives are required to operate this mirror space.
- Parity – Parity spaces, unlike the other two storage options, are designed for maximum storage efficiency. By storing multiple copies of your data in parity spaces, you can protect your data from driver failure. Archival data and media files, such as music and videos, benefit most from parity spaces. To protect against a single drive failure, you’ll need at least three drives, and at least seven drives to protect against two drive failures.
Mirror spaces are ideal for storing a variety of data. Windows 10 will automatically maintain data integrity if a mirror space is formatted with the Resilient File System (ReFS), making your data even more resistant to drive failure. At the same time that Microsoft released Storage Spaces, it also released ReFS. When you create Storage Spaces pools, you can format the drives to either NTFS or ReFS, though Microsoft believes that formatting drives to ReFS rather than NTFS with Storage Spaces will provide the best performance.
It’s a good idea to optimize drive usage whenever you add new drives to an existing Storage Spaces pool. To make the most of the pool’s overall storage capacity, optimizing drive usage will move some of your data to the new drive. By default, whenever you add a new drive to a pool in Windows 10, you will see a check box for Optimize to spread existing data across all drives selected when you add the new drive. If you added drives before upgrading a pool, you’ll need to optimize your drive usage manually.
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