I have been preparing to present on Windows Server 2012 and one of the neat features is Storage Spaces.
With the available cheap NAS, SAN and direct attached storage, Microsoft has created a method to allow you to cluster them together to create mirrors using the various type of storage. For a small business this is a good way to create high availability and redudancey using inexpensive disks.
While I would not recommend this for an enterprise that has more fault tolerant storage such as high end SAN, Storage Spaces does have some uses. One that I can think of is IT Data such as software. The IT share is one that has a bunch of utilites and typically is not backed up. Storage Spaces could be a great way to use some cheap disk and make it redudant.
Microsoft had this in mind when using Storage Spaces.
Some of the goals of Storage Spaces include the ability to:
- Obtain and easily manage reliable and scalable storage with reduced cost
- Aggregate individual drives into storage pools that are managed as a single entity
- Utilize simple inexpensive storage with or without external storage
- Provision storage as needed from pools of storage you’ve created
- Grow storage pools on demand
- Use PowerShell to manage Storage Spaces for Windows 8 clients or Windows Server 2012
- Delegate administration by specific pool
- Use diverse types of storage in the same pool: SATA, SAS, USB, SCSI
- Use existing tools for backup/restore as well as VSS for snapshots
- Designate specific drives as hot spares
- Automatic repair for pools containing hot spares with sufficient storage capacity to cover what was lost
- Management can be local, remote, through MMC, or PowerShell
You can find out more about storage spaces here.