Process to Create Storage Pool with both Physical and Virtual HDs

I wish to create a storage pool that utilizes Virtual Hard Drives and Physical Hard Drives.  I am a complete novice to this area, and I am confused by the options provided.  Here are the details:
1.  Operating System:  WIndows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V Role configured.
2.  No Virtual Machines configured yet.
3.  3 Physical Hard Drives installed  and One Virtual Hard Drive configured.  The Virtual Hard Drive configured via Computer Manager console.
4.  All 4 hard drives initialized via Computer Manager console.  No volumes assigned to the drives.
5.  All 4 hard drives show up in the Physical Disks window of Server Manager Console, File and Storage Services, Volumes,Storage Pools.  I assume that they are members of the Primordial Storage Pool.
6.  When I start the New Storage Pool Wizard from the Server Manager console, I am able to complete it with all four drives selected.  I have not completed the wizard.  When I get to the summary screen, I select Cancel as the completion action.
7.  When I opened the Computer Manager console, it prompted me to intialize the four drives.  I completed this step.
8.  The status of the drives in the Computer Manager console are as follows:
      a.  PhysicalDisk1:  Disk 1, Basic, 1862.89 GB. Online, Unallocated
      b.  PhysicalDisk2:  Disk 2, Basic, 1862.89 GB, Online, Unallocated
      c.  PhysicalDisk3:  Disk 3, Basic, 1862.89 GB Online, Unallocated
      d.  PhysicalDisk8: Disk 8, Basic, 1986.88 BY, Online, Unallocated
      Note that PhysicalDisk8 is the Virtual Hard Disk.
9.  In Computer Manager console, a right click of Disks 1, 2, and 3 gives the following options:
     a. New Simple Volume
     b. New Spanned Volume
     c.  New Mirrored Volume
     d. New Raid5 Volume
     e. Properties
     f. Help
10. In Computer Manager console, a rick click of Disk8 only provides the New Simple Volume option.  The others, except for Properties and Help, are grayed out.
11.  I wish to have the VHD store data on the physical hard drives and to have the physical hard drives configured to mirror the data stored on the VHD.
How do I proceed?
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BeurmannPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Note correction below:
  "d.  PhysicalDisk8: Disk 8, Basic, 1986.88 GB, Online, Unallocated", changed from original of "d.  PhysicalDisk8: Disk 8, Basic, 1986.88 BY, Online, Unallocated"
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
A virtual disk is a file that exists on a physical disk. Raid functions work at the physical disk level.

if you are within the virtual operating system you could do what you want but not from the host operating system. Note: while the virtual machine is running the physical disk that is in use in the virtual machine will not be available to the host operating system
BeurmannPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Hi David,  Thank you for the comment and advice.  Please consider the following
1.  I have placed the VHD (PhysicalDisk8) on the physical disk (PhysicalDisk0) of the host operating system.
2.  In my problem statement, everything concerning the VHD and PHDs is in reference to the host operating system.
Question:  To place the VM on one of the physical disks, should I complete the process to create the storage pool and associated volumes on the host?
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What do you hope storage pools to provide? What kind of physical drives do you have? Do you have any RAID controllers? Very few people use storage pools. The normal thing to do is setup appropriate RAID (usually RAID 10).
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
As stated before a .vhd is a file that exists on a physical disk.
If you want you can create a storage space using the 3 remaining physical disks use parity. and it will be presented as one large unformatted disk to the operating system.
BeurmannPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Hi KevinHSieh,  Thank you for your comment.  I have 3 Seagate SATA 1.82 TByte drives, model ST2000DM001.  I do have a RAID controller, but I have not installed it.  I intended to use the MS capabilities to the extend possible.  I am using the storage pools as I understand that storage pools form the basis of the MS disk management capabilities.  My intention is to have a VM file server with basic error correction across the three physical disks.  Your comments lead me to believe that I should discard the storage pool approach, install the RAID controller, and provide the disk management via RAID10.  I will take this approach if I can't make the storage pool / VHD configuration work as I think it should, which I have found to be very difficult to do!  I am very confused by the sequence of the steps required to accomplish the Microsoft solution.  Mike
BeurmannPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Hi David Johnson, With regards the VHD, my experience leads me to believe that what ever physical drive I use to place the .vhd file on, that drive becomes the location of the VHD.  So in the case of the scenario I describe, the VHD exists on one of the physical drives.  I would like the VHD to span all three drives with its data mirrored across them.  Is this possible?  Mike
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Storage pools use JBOD disks and not the expensive and proprietary RAID technology using that and Data Deduplication the Windows Team which with there 10PB of storage could only store 5 days of builds for their storage budget. Using Storage Spaces and Data Deduplication they were able to store 30 days of builds for the same cost.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
from within the hyper-v client you could add more disks and then create a raid array. just put the virtual disks on different drives.
As I understand things, you want to setup storage on a physical host for a VM acting as a file server.

Windows Storage Spaces is relatively new and not well understood by the majority of people who administer Windows. I have been in the industry for 19 years, and I have heard of one person in the SMB space using Windows Storage Spaces.

What you want to use is a hardware RAID controller with four disks for RAID 10. You don't want to use RAID 5 because you would have a very significant risk of losing everything during a rebuild due to an unrecoverable read error (URE).

Use UEFI boot, and partition the array into a C drive of say 100 GB,  leaving the rest for a data drive on which you can store all of your VMs.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Windows Storage Spaces is relatively new and not well understood by the majority of people who administer Windows.
People tend to use what they are familiar with and are reluctant to change. People still recommend RAID5 with volumes that are >10TB.  Times change.. Networking changes i.e. RDMA..  Technology evolves.  The RAID manufacturers have reason to be afraid. There are people which detest PERC controllers with a vengeance

I have been in the industry for 19 years, and I have heard of one person in the SMB space using Windows Storage Spaces. Are you saying that it is only applicable for Large and Enterprise businesses? They are adopting it in droves.. I bought my first computer almost 40 years ago and the model 29 teletype dwarfed the actual computer (size and electricity) and of course, noise.

The Powervault 12XX are close to the $10K mark w/o drives.  I did see an EE expert state that with less than 18 drives SS doesn't perform well in comparison to a RAID array. So I'd guess that getting 2 x 12xx enclosures @ ~$20K ($24K with drives) is well outside the SMB pricing.

This doesn't mean that SS has no value to the SMB it only means that SMB installers like to use a tried and proven formula for their customers.  Like a well worn pair of shoes this is their most comfortable range.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Storage Pool = Storage Spaces.

Disk Management RAID 5 = OS based software RAID.

In a standalone setting we always set up a hardware RAID configuration for our Hyper-V servers.

The overhead that Storage Spaces requires puts a big crimp on I/O performance in a setting where there are less than 12-16 10K SAS spindles.

We build clusters based on Scale-Out File Servers and Storage Spaces. These clusters provide highly available SMB based storage for Hyper-V compute clusters on the frontend.

We also build a small 2 node Hyper-V cluster with clustered Storage Spaces (our blog post with a pic). These get deployed at client sites starting as small as 15 seats.

We have a great blog post: A Brief on Storage Spaces.
...and the environment currently has three 7.2K drives. Everything that has been said IMHO supports my position that its not appropriate for this environment.

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