Win 2012 R2 Storage Spaces

I have a dell server with the following;

H700 Controller
2 x 250gb SSD - Mirrored via the H700 controller (OS drive)
4 x 1 TB SSD
2 x  2TB HDD

Going into the storage area it shows my OS drive, but the other 6 hard drives don't show up.  I rebooted and went into the controller, and it sees all of the physical drives.  The non OS drives are all raw.  

What am I missing?
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Marwan OsmanCommented:
did the drive blind when you turn the server on?
JackAitkenAuthor Commented:
I don't understand blind?

When i go into the bios on the H700 controller at post, it sees all of the physical drives.  I used the 2 x 250gb SSD drive and created a mirror to use to install the Win2012 R2 OS.  The other 6 drives have not been addressed by the H700 controller, since I understand the storage pools will not reference any drives that are addressed via the controller directly.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
You'll have to connect the other drives to a different controller. RAID controllers prevent storage spaces from working and insist seeing the disks directly. Some controllers support a JBOD mode, but the last time I checked, the H700 does not support mixing JBOD and mirroring. So by mirroring your OS drives, the H700 is operating in a way that'll prevent storage spaces from interacting with other disks connected to that controller.
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JackAitkenAuthor Commented:
If I connect all the drives to the H700, how do I protect to OS drive?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
As I said above, I don't think you can. You'll want a separate HBA for the other drives if you plan to use storage spaces. Or replace the H700 with a more robust controllermcapable of running mixed modes. Personally I'd go the HBA route.
Try updating you H700 with the latest firmware, so it recognizes all of the SATA drives.  Also with the H700, you either have to do all SATA drives or all SAS drives.  A mix between SAS and SATA will not work.

Be sure that you initialize the HDD's on the H700 as well!
JackAitkenAuthor Commented:
The controller recognizes all drives, windows does not.

They are all SATA drives
are you sure the volumes are initialized in your h700?  You also might need to create virtual disks for each drive if that doesn't work.
Tony GiangrecoCommented:
When turning the server on, go into the Setup for the H700 controller before Windows starts. You should be able to expand the tree and see each drive and its size. if they are all there, make site the new ones are initialized and ready. That operation is run in thie same utlity you are in.

After that, boot into Windows, go to Administrative Tools, Computer Management, disk Management. You should see the missing drives there. right click each one, format them and assign a drive leter to them and you are redy to use them.

Hope This helps!
Marwan OsmanCommented:
I mean when you turn the server on, did the point light of each of the 6 HD give a green light? Green light is blinding, means light is on , off simultaneously during the booting of the server
JackAitkenAuthor Commented:
Yes.  They initialize during post, and the lights blink during the initialization.
Can you post some pictures of your H700 configuration?
JackAitkenAuthor Commented:
Well, I called Dell and they said that the H700 doesn't work with storage pools, but I didn't trust his knowledge.  He was too quick to say no support, but was slow to grasp the situation.

I did as Unrealized92 had suggested, and created a RAID0 virtual disk for each physical disk, and windows saw the drives.

The drives appeared as mediatype unknown, so I ran the following powershell commands found in this article.

Get a List of Disks in the pool

Get-StoragePool StoragePool1 | Get-PhysicalDisk | FT FriendlyName, Size, MediaType

Set the media Type to any disks showing unknown - for example:

Set-PhysicalDisk -FriendlyName PhysicalDisk1 -MediaType SSD

Set-PhysicalDisk -FriendlyName PhysicalDisk5 -MediaType HDD

 I set the media type for each and then tried to create a virtual tiered disk.  I named the vdisk, and then it asked for the storage layout.  Parity was not an option, just simple or mirrored.  To see if I had other choices later, I selected mirror, which was reducing available space by 50% as expected, so I cancelled.

Why am I missing the parity option?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
You continue to beat your head against this and I can tell you *from experience* and from actual knowledge that you can't do what you want with what you have.  HBAs are not expensive.  Get an HBA for the drives you want to pool. Forcibly setting the media type for your scenario is "not supported" (even if you hate the term) and, from a more practical perspective, because you are setting each drive up as a RAID0, it is still going to use the controller's cache which will actively cause issues with how storage spaces performs write-through.  If you did select mirrored, it may not actually *be* mirrored because the RAID controller will be interfering with the writes, and parity is no different in this regard.  There is a reason Microsoft explicitly listed RAID controllers in their supportability doc, and you are going to get unpredictable results as long as you keep trying.

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Cliff GaliherCommented:
And for the record, Microsoft actually does maintain a list of certified adapters for storage spaces. So you don't have to take the Dell guy's word for it.

Now you *can* get adapters not on that list to work. But they have to support a true JBOD pass-through mode.  And even adapters that do will not always support mixing JBOD mode for some disks and RAID mode for others.  So shop carefully.
JackAitkenAuthor Commented:
Wow, that list has only 12 controllers on it and nothing from Dell.  I assume that's because many of the others didn't pay Microsoft to become certified.
JackAitkenAuthor Commented:
Purchasing a controller from that list that supports a Dell R515 server, which means that Dell won't support the system with a 3rd party controller.
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Dell obviously won't support the controller. And if there are direct compatibility issues, they won't support those.  They won't issue a BIOS patch if a controller fails to recognize during POST for example.  But it doesn't negate support for the rest of the system. Dell's support structure has been pretty consistent on such things.
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Windows Server 2012

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