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Huawei SAN Storage Host Connectivity Guide for Windows

HUAWEI SAN Storage Host Connectivity Guide for Windows Servers

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Appendix A Volume Management

Appendix A Volume Management

In Windows, disks are categorized as basic and dynamic disks. Only simple volumes can be created on basic disks. Spanned volumes, mirror volumes, striped volumes, and RAID-5 volumes are created on dynamic disks.

RAID-5 volumes are not supported in desktop operating systems such as Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

In Windows Server 2008 and later versions, the operating system converts basic disks to dynamic disks when spanned volumes (or other volumes that can only be created on dynamic disks) are created on basic disks.

The definitions of the volumes are as follows:

  • Spanned volume

    A spanned volume is created on a single or multiple disks and combines the disks as a whole. A spanned volume is used to expand volume capacity.

  • Mirror volume

    A mirror volume is created on two or multiple disks. Member disks in a mirror volume are mirrors to each other. Mirror volumes improve data reliability.

  • Striped volume

    A striped volume is created on two or multiple disks. Member disks in a striped volume are of the same size and stripped. When data is written onto a striped volume, the data is divided into several parts and the parts are written onto each member disk. Theoretically, striped volumes help improve write performance and expand volume capacity.

  • RAID-5 volume

    After incorporating a parity disk, a striped volume becomes a RAID-5 volume. Therefore, a RAID-5 volume has all advantages of a striped volume and also ensures data reliability.

Windows volume management is simple. You can manage Windows volumes on a graphical user interface (GUI).

The following uses Windows 2012 as an example to explain how to create a RAID-5 volume:

  1. After LUNs are mapped to the host, start Computer Management. Right-click Disk Management and choose Rescan Disks from the shortcut menu, as shown in Figure 9-1.

    Figure 9-1 Rescanning for disks

    The states of the identified LUNs are Unknown and Offline.

  2. Right-click a disk and choose Online from the shortcut menu to set the disk online. The state of the disk is changed to Unknown or Not Initialized, as shown in Figure 9-2.

    Figure 9-2 Setting the identified disks online

  3. Right-click a disk and choose Initialize Disks from the shortcut menu. In the Initialize Disks dialog box that is displayed, select the disks that you want to initialize and the partition format. In this example, partition format MBR is selected. Then, the states of the selected disks change to Online, as shown in Figure 9-3.

    Figure 9-3 Initializing disks

  4. Right-click a disk and choose New RAID-5 Volume from the shortcut menu. The New RAID-5 Volume dialog box is displayed, as shown in Figure 9-4.

    Figure 9-4 New RAID-5 volume dialog box

  5. Select the disks that you want to add to the RAID-5 volume, specify capacities of the selected disks, and click Next. Select a drive letter for the newly created RAID-5 volume, the file system type for volume formatting, strip size, and fast formatting.

    A RAID-5 volume has at least three member disks. After a RAID-5 volume is created, it spends a certain period of time in synchronous verification. The verification time grows with the volume capacity.

    Fast formatting is recommended.

    A disk must be formatted after being installed. The operating system creates partitions on a disk only after writing the disk identifier, end-of-sector marker (also called a signature), and MBR or GUID.

Updated: 2020-01-17

Document ID: EDOC1000150159

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