Windows Storage Spaces Direct Storage Servers

Storage Spaces Direct uses industry-standard servers with local-attached drives to create highly available, highly scalable software-defined storage at a fraction of the cost of traditional SAN or NAS arrays. Its converged or hyper-converged architecture radically simplifies procurement and deployment, while features like caching, storage tiers, and erasure coding, together with the latest hardware innovation like RDMA networking and NVMe drives, deliver unrivaled efficiency and performance.

Fully Compatible Windows Storage Spaces Direct Storage Appliances

Configure the CyberStore range of enterprise-grade storage servers with Windows Storage Spaces Direct for feature-rich, massively expandable storage.


Broadberry 2 Node Storage Spaces Direct

Broadberry 4 Node Storage Spaces Direct

Broadberry S2D Hyper-Converged



Windows Storage Spaces Direct

Windows Storage Spaces Direct is known for continuous availability and high scalability for a much lower cost than many of the other options on the market. It creates software defined storage by using servers with locally attached drives. The architecture can be designed to be either converged or hyper-converged, making procurement and deployment a lot easier. Its amazing levels of efficiency and performance are boosted by its main features like storage tiers and caching, in addition to its use of the latest hardware like NVMe drives.

Deployment

As mentioned, Storage Spaces Direct can be designed for two deployment options, converged and hyper-converged. With the converged option, compute and storage are in different clusters. Whereas with the hyper-converged option, the storage and compute are together in one cluster. Both have their advantages, but converged infrastructure is generally more flexible than hyper-converged infrastructure as it allows for easier scalability and more efficiency.

Hardware

There are certain hardware requirements that arise when you choose to use Storage Space Direct. For networking hardware, the software is designed to use SMB3 instead of ethernet. For storage hardware it supports anywhere between 2 and 16 servers with locally attached NVMe, SAS or SATA drives. For each individual server, there needs to be 2 SSDs and 4 extra drives as a minimum requirement. If you use SAS or SATA, then the devices need to be behind an HBA (host-bus adapter) and SAS expander.

Features

Since 2012 there are have been a large number of improvements, innovations and newly added features that have made Storage Space Direct extremely effective.

Storage Replica is a feature that allow for volume replication between servers. It is very effective for disaster recovery and gives you the relief of knowing that you have an extra layer of protection between your data and a catastrophe. Using the reliable and proven technology of SMB3, this feature is extremely effective. Storage Replica also has all of the advanced characteristics of SMB3 available to it.

The Software Storage Bus is a new feature that has essentially replaced Shared SAS cabling. It creates a software-defined storage fabric through which every server can see the local drives of the other servers. The Software Storage Bus is a feature that will dynamically join the fastest possible present drives to the drives that are lagging behind. By doing this it provides caching that speeds up IO and increases throughput. The Storage Pool feature creates a storage pool that is made up of a collection of drives. Any drive that is eligible is added to the pool automatically.

There is also a feature that provides a good amount of fault tolerance to the virtual "disks". It's done by either mirroring, erasure coding, or a combination of the two. The Resilient file system is a system built from scratch for virtualisation, increasing both the acceleration of key file operations and built-in error detection/correction system.

Volume sizes up to 64TB and single file sizes up to 1TB are now supported by Data Deduplication, which wasn't the case prior to 2016. You are also now able to easily back up data to the cloud using a Microsoft Azure-based cloud service. The VHDX files that are hosted on ReFS volumes get significant performance boosts due to the Resilient File System. The work folders feature means any changes in files are automatically synced directly to the work folders server. Storage quality of service feature (QoS) can be used centrally observe and monitor the end to end performance of your storage. Powershell comes with a huge advancement in new features, including class development support, more security capabilities, an improved usability, and more. Both virtual and physical machines will gain from the latest time synchronisation feature. They will have a much higher time accuracy due to the effects of the improvements in both Win32 Time and Hyper-V Time Synchronisation Services. Services will be compliant with the potential regulations that will require a minimum of a 1ms accuracy in relation to UTC. Finally, the JEA feature (Just Enough Administration) is a security technology that allows delegated administration for essentially anything that you can choose to manage through Windows PowerShell.

Performance

The powerful performance provided by this software is difficult to find replicated anywhere else on the market. Storage Spaces Direct reaches way over 150,000 mixed 4k random IOPS per server. That goes for both all-flash and hybrid. Due to the architecture which is hypervisor-embedded it also features low latency and reliability. Its support for the latest NVMe drives also helps keep latency very low.

Constant Availability

Boasting constant availability, Storage Spaces Direct has built-in resiliency features to deal with failures. Its high level of fault tolerance is due to its resiliency in handling component failures and maintaining its availability. Should any hardware fail, you just remove it and put in a replacement. There is no complex management process needed, the software makes the necessary adjustments itself.

Scalable

Storage Spaces Direct is incredibly scalable. You can scale down to 2 servers, and scale as high as 16 servers and more than 400 drives. That makes up to 1 petabyte per cluster. Scaling is simple, all you do is add more drives or more servers. The software automatically onboards the latest drives and they will immediately become in use. The level of performance will always scale in a reliable and consistent manner.

Management Tools

Once deployed, there are a number of different maintenance tasks you will likely perform over the long term. These generally include such tasks monitoring for and fixing issues, replacing any parts that do fail, and updating your drivers.

There are four common tools that you can use to manage Storage Spaces Direct. Windows Admin Centre and Windows PowerShell are two of the most common. System Centre Virtual Machine Manager & Operations Manager is another, while the final common management option is Failover Cluster Manager & Server Manager.

Windows Admin Centre is a powerful tool, with a decent level of ease of use. It needs to be installed, and once done so it has helpful displays that allow you to monitor the status of individual servers and clusters.

Windows PowerShell is a great option if you are looking to automate and want full control over every single aspect of storage. The only real negative is that its better for management, rather than visual monitoring of system health. In that aspect, Windows Admin Centre is a more effective option for management.

System Centre VMM & Operations Manager is one of the easiest management tools to use and also provides a nice graphical view of the status of multiple systems. It's a common tool and widely used for management of Storage Space Direct. The only down side could be occasions where tasks that require PowerShell pop up, meaning this tool won't be enough to cover all situations. There are also times where extra infrastructure may become needed.

Failover Cluster Manager & Server Manager is similar in a way. It is also easy to use and has good graphical displays. However, like the previous option it also may require additional tools like PowerShell for certain tasks.

Why Broadberry

Broadberry is the premier provider of Storage Spaces Direct storage servers. With decades of experience in this field, we have built an impressive track record of reliability, consistency and high standards of excellence. Over the years we have supplied servers to many of the very biggest organisations on the planet including the BBC, SKY, NASA, TOYOTA. TESCO, SONY and many more. Having won awards for our service, we pride ourselves on delivering the very best customer experience possible.

Our storage servers are not only fully compatible with Storage Spaces Direct, but they are compatible with any storage server software. We are the only company that provide this level of compatibility across the board. Ordering a storage server from us will save you big money in the long term as if you ever want to change software or upgrade to something new, you won't be forced to purchase a whole new server. With us one box is all you need to run any software you could ever want to run. We are proud to be the sole providers of storage servers with such widescale compatibility.

In addition to this, our storage servers are also configurable with third party hardware. Unlike the majority of other storage server suppliers in this market, we do not believe in vendor locking. You will have complete freedom to use whatever hardware you wish to use. Many companies trap you into only buying hardware from them and their partners. We will never do this.

Our prices are as fair as they can be. We provide servers with reliability, performance and quality on par with very best in this industry. However, unlike many of the big-name brands we do not mark-up our products to exorbitant prices. We aim to provide the highest quality servers for the most affordable price, and even at lower prices our systems regularly outperform more expensive options.

With us, there is one price. The price we agree on for the initial purchase and any long-term maintenance required. Unlike other companies in this field we will never hit you with hidden charges, meaning your TCO (total cost of ownership) will be much lower than you would get with the alternative brands on the market.

Fault Tolerance

  • Drive / Server / Network Fault Tolerance
  • Optional Rack & Chassis Awareness
  • Storage Replication For BC/DR (Sync & Async)
  • High & Continuous Availability

Software RAID

  • Two- & Three-Way Mirror (RAID-1)
  • Dual Parity / Erasure Coding (RAID-6)
  • Mirror-Accelerated Parity
  • Striping (RAID-0)
  • Single Parity (RAID-5)
  • Predictive Drive Failure (S.M.A.R.T.) (Preview)
  • Automatic Repair & Resync

Software Checksum

  • File Integrity Checksum
  • Automatic In-Line Corruption Correction
  • Proactive File Integrity Scrubber

Encryption

  • Data-At-Rest (BitLocker)
  • Data-In-Transit (SMB Encryption)

Efficiency

  • Kernel-Embedded Architecture
  • Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA)
  • Data Deduplication (Preview)
  • Compression

Performance

  • In-Memory Cache
  • Persistent Read & Write Cache
  • Real-Time Tiering
  • Hybrid & All-Flash Support
  • Persistent Memory / NVDIMM-N Support (Preview)
  • Intel Optane / 3D X-Point Support
  • NVMe, SATA, SAS Support
  • Instant VHD Creation / Expansion
  • Instant VHD Checkpoint Management

Scale

  • Scale-Up & Scale-Out
  • Reach Petabyte (1,000 TB) Scale
  • Proactive Storage Balancing
  • From 2 To 16 Servers
  • From 8 To 400+ Drives
  • Cloud Witness for Quorum
  • Dynamic Quorum

Flexibility

  • Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (Hyper-V)
  • Scale-Out File Server (SoFS)
  • Native SQL Server

Management

  • Built-In Failure & Capacity Alerting
  • Built-In Performance History (Preview)
  • Per-VM Quality of Service (QoS) IOPS Limits
  • 100% Scripting-Friendly (PowerShell)
  • System Center Integration

Tools for managing Storage Spaces Direct

After you've deployed your storage, some of the management tasks you'll perform include monitoring for failed physical disks or other issues, replacing disks that fail, and updating firmware and drivers. See the following table for common management options.

Tool Advantages Disadvantages
Windows Admin Center -Powerful and easy to use
-Graphical displays for monitoring individual clusters and servers
-Must be installed (it is pretty easy to install though...)
Windows PowerShell - Complete control over all aspects of storage
- Can automate by writing scripts
- Powerful example scripts available
- Better for management than visually monitoring overall storage health
- Scripts require development and testing
System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) & Operations Manager - Easy to use
- Graphical displays for monitoring multiple systems
- Alerting for common problems
- Common tool for managing VMs and storage
- Some tasks require Windows PowerShell
- Requires System Center licenses
- Might require additional infrastructure if you don't already have System Center or are deploying at a scale that's greater than your existing deployment can handle
Failover Cluster Manager & Server Manager - Easy to use
- Graphical displays for monitoring
- Some tasks require Windows PowerShell
- Slow automatic refreshes in Server Manager when working with storage
- Performance and usability decreases with large numbers of objects

Our range of CyberStore enterprise-grade storage appliances are fully compatible with Windows Storage Spaces Direct storage OS.
Windows Storage Spaces Direct Storage Appliances

Storage Spaces Direct uses industry-standard servers with local-attached drives to create highly available, highly scalable software-defined storage at a fraction of the cost of traditional SAN or NAS arrays. Its converged or hyper-converged architecture radically simplifies procurement and deployment, while features like caching, storage tiers, and erasure coding, together with the latest hardware innovation like RDMA networking and NVMe drives, deliver unrivaled efficiency and performance.

  • Fully Compatible Storage Appliances
  • Pre-Configured with Windows Storage Spaces Direct
  • Fully Tested
  • Licence Cost:
Windows Storage Spaces Direct S2D Node - 24x HDD, 4x NVMe

2U, 24 Drive Bays, SAS / SATA Rackmount Storage Server

Form Factor:
2U
Drive Size:
2.5" Storage Servers
Drive Bays:
24 Drive Bays
Storage Capacity:
336TB
Compatibility:
Fully compatible with Windows Storage Spaces Direct
from: $5,277
Configure
Windows Storage Spaces Direct S2D Node - 10x NVMe

1U, 10 Bay NVMe All Flash Storage Array

Form Factor:
1U
Drive Size:
3.5" Storage Servers
Drive Bays:
10 NVMe Drives
Storage Capacity:
40TB
Compatibility:
Fully compatible with Windows Storage Spaces Direct
from: $5,565
Configure
Windows Storage Spaces Direct S2D Node - 8x HDD, 4x NVMe

2U, (8 x SAS & 4 x NVME Bays) High-Performance Storage Server

Form Factor:
2U
Drive Size:
3.5" Storage Servers
Drive Bays:
4 NVMe + 8 HDD/SSD Bays
Storage Capacity:
144TB
Compatibility:
Fully compatible with Windows Storage Spaces Direct
from: $5,920
Configure
Windows Storage Spaces Direct S2D Node - 24x NVMe

High-Density 2U, 24x NVMe All Flash Storage Array, High IOPS

Form Factor:
2U
Drive Size:
2.5" Storage Servers
Drive Bays:
24 NVMe Bays
Storage Capacity:
96TB
Compatibility:
Fully compatible with Windows Storage Spaces Direct
from: $6,931
Configure

The Broadberry CyberStore range of enterprise-grade storage servers are designed and built for a wide-range of storage applications.

Completely customisable from processing to storage type and capacity, to operating system - the CyberStore range is your go-to storage platform.

Used by the World's Largest Organisations

The CyberStore range of storage servers are used by the world's largest organisations from the BBC, to the CERN project, governement institutions, universities and much more.

Multi
Award-Winning

Year-after-year, the Broadberry CyberStore range of unified storage appliances has beaten the likes of Dell and HPE to be crowned "Best Storage Appliance" by PC Pro magazine.

Outstanding
Value

When compared to the likes of DELL, HPE, EMC etc, the Broadberry CyberStore range of enterprise-grade unified storage appliances is up to 60% cheaper, although using the same quality components such as Seagate drives and Kingston RAM.

Compatible with your
Favourite Software

The Bradberry CyberStore range has been built from industry-leading commodity hardware, and carefully designed to ensuure full compatibility with leading storage operating systems and database engines.


Lower Cost, Same Components

Broadberry enterprise storage appliances are on average 86% lower cost than EMC and 55% lower cost than DELL although built using the same leading-brand server components such as Intel processors and Samsung memory. HPE hard drives are rebadged Toshiba enterprise-class drives, the exact same models as found in Broadberry storage appliances.

Hard Drive Caddies Included

When you buy a Broadberry storage appliance all drive bays are supplied with caddies - so if in 6 months time you decide to expand the storage you can source it freely from the marketplace or ourselves if you wish. The only way to add hard drives to HPE servers is to buy the drives along with caddies from HPE for 200% the price of Broadberry's price.

No Ongoing Licence Costs

Broadberry storage appliances come with enterprise-grade features like IPMI included, whereas HPE charge large fees for perpetual licences for the same features.

Instant, Accurate Quotations

Our website allows you to configure your server online with accurate prices, as opposed to NetApp who require several face-to-face meetings with them before they'll give you a price.

Market Moving Away from Tier 1 Vendors

Over recent years there's been a massive move from the world's largest organisations such as Google to purchase their servers from the likes of Broadberry rather than DELL and HPE. This move is fuelled by the rise in commodity hardware.


Extensive Testing

Before leaving our build and configuration facility, all of our server and storage solutions undergo an extensive 48 hour testing procedure. This, along with the high quality industry leading components that we use ensures all of our systems meet the strictest quality guidelines.


Customization Service

Our main objective is to offer great value, high quality server and storage solutions, we understand that every company has different requirements and as such are able to offer a complete customization service to provide server and storage solutions that meet your individual needs.

Trusted by the World's Biggest Brands

We have established ourselves as one of the biggest storage providers in the US, and since 1989 been trusted as the preferred supplier of server and storage solutions to some of the world's biggest brands, including: