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Lesson 02: Configuring Local Storage

  • Design storage spaces
  • Configure basic and dynamic disks
  • Configure MBR and GPT disks
  • Manage volumes
  • Create and mount virtual hard disks (VHDs)
  • Configure storage pools and disk pools


basic disk
The default disk type in Windows Server 2012. A basic disk supports up to four partitions, typically three primary and one extended, with logical drives to organize data.
direct-attached storage: Hard disk drives and other storage media connected to a computer using one of the standard disk interfaces, as opposed to network-connected storage.

disk duplexing
A fault-tolerance mechanism in which the computer stores duplicate data on two separate disks, each on a separate host adapter, so the data remains available if one disk fails.
disk mirroring: A fault-tolerance mechanism in which the computer stores duplicate data on two separate disks so the data remains available if a disk fails. 
DiskPart.exe: A Windows Server 2012 command-line program that you can use to perform disk management tasks.

dynamic disk
The alternative to the basic disk type in Windows Server 2012. Dynamic disks can have an unlimited number of volumes using various configurations. The process of converting a basic disk to a dynamic disk creates a single partition that occupies the entire disk. You can create an unlimited number of volumes out of the space in that partition.

external drive array
Hard disk drives and other storage media connected to a computer using a network medium, such as Ethernet or Fibre Channel.

globally unique identifier (GUID) partition table (GPT)
You can use GPT as a boot disk if the computer’s architecture provides support for an Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI)-based boot partition. Otherwise, you can use it as a non-bootable disk for data storage only. When used as a boot disk, it differs from the master boot record because platform operation critical data is located in partitions rather than unpartitioned or hidden sectors. 

JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks)
A colloquial term for a drive array that is not configured to use RAID or any other type of special fault-tolerance mechanism.

master boot record (MBR)
The default partition style used since Windows was released. Supports up to four primary partitions or three primary partitions and one extended partition, with unlimited logical drives on the extended partition.
network attached storage (NAS): A dedicated file server device, containing disk drives, which connects to a network and provides clients with direct, file-based access to storage resources. Unlike a storage area network, NAS devices include a rudimentary operating system and a file system implementation.

A mathematical algorithm that some disk storage technologies use to provide data redundancy in their disk write operations.

partition style
The method that Windows operating systems use to organize partitions on a disk. Two hard disk partition styles can be used in Windows Server 2008: master boot record (MBR) and GUID partition table (GPT).
Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID): A series of data storage technologies that use multiple disks to provide computers with increased storage, I/O performance, and/or fault tolerance. 

A new file system in Windows Server 2012 that offers practically unlimited file and directory sizes and increased resiliency.

storage area network (SAN)
A dedicated, high-speed network that connects block-based storage devices to servers. Unlike NAS devices, SANs do not provide a file system implementation. SANs require a server to provide clients with access to the storage resources.

storage pool
A Windows Server 2012 logical storage component that can span multiple drives invisibly, providing an accumulated storage resource that you can expand or reduce as needed by adding disks or removing them. 
Storage Spaces: A generic term describing the new Windows Server 2012 storage technologies, including storage pools and virtual disks.

virtual disks
A Windows Server 2012 logical storage component that consists of space in a storage pool that behaves much like a physical disk, except that the actual bits might be stored on any number of physical drives in the system.

Virtual Hard Disk (VHD)
A file format created by Microsoft that enables you to create a simulated hard disk, which you can mount into an operating system and access like a physical disk drive.