Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Review

A robust solution that is straightforward to set up and has no single point of failure

What is our primary use case?

We are a system integrator and we work with many storage solutions, including Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that there is no single point of failure. There are many individual places that can fail, but you do not have general failures.

What needs improvement?

With this solution, you have to invest much more in hardware than is required with some other solutions. An example is that costly SSD drives are needed for caching.

The overall cost of this solution needs to be reduced. 

More optimization could be done in terms of mirroring. In order to have 20 terabytes of usable storage, you have to buy about sixty. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the demo version of this solution for a few weeks.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any problems with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would say that it is scalable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have used and implemented many different storage solutions, depending on the client.

For example, for smaller implementations, we have used iSCSI. It is much cheaper, is easier to manage, and has fewer points where problems can occur.

Another example is that we use Cisco HyperFlex for some clients.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is more or less straightforward. It's not too complex. 

I am a Linux administrator and have a lot of experience with the command-line interface, so it was easy for me. However, for Microsoft administrators, it may be more difficult because there is no GUI.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

With the data center licensing and everything that is connected to that, this solution is relatively costly.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

So far, for our implementations, this solution has not been suitable for us.

What other advice do I have?

Croatia is relatively small and we don't have many big companies. The most common implementation has 10 or 20 terabytes of storage, but you don't need high performance for all of it. Often, you only need the best performance for running a database that is perhaps one terabyte in size.

The ideal thing would be to have this solution work with Windows standard licensing. For larger installations, it will be very good to have access to all of the Windows data center features. On the other hand, if you only have four or five virtual machines running in a hyper-converged cluster then you don't gain much from the data center licensing. It would be very useable with the standard license.

Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct definitely has its advantages, especially with robustness and scalability. The main reason that we have not implemented this solution or put it into production is because of the pricing.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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