By Brian Cowan
The six-monthly update cycle for Windows Server 2016 started this week and contained a major surprise. If you are planning a hyper-convergence project using Storage Spaces Direct is is not there any more.
Storage Spaces Direct
Storage Spaces Direct allows directly connected SSD, SAS and SATA drives to be used to deliver a Storage Spaces HCI solution. It featured heavily at the Microsoft Ignite conference in September and was heralded as a new way to reduce storage costs. It would appear that the Windows Server 2016 team have discovered flaws in the code and have withdrawn it until they can be remedied.
Storage Spaces Direct
Storage Spaces Direct is not included in Windows Server, version 1709. If you call Enable-ClusterStorageSpacesDirect or its alias Enable-ClusterS2D, on a server running Windows Server, version 1709, you will receive an error with the message “The requested operation is not supported”.
It is also not supported to introduce servers running Windows Server, version 1709 into a Windows Server 2016 Storage Spaces Direct deployment.
It is likely that the feature will return, but if the 6-monthly release schedule is maintained this will be a while away. For those with existing Windows 2016 Storage Spaces clusters it is not possible to introduce a new host with Release 1709 installed. Thus, if scale out is needed it will have to be implemented on the pre-1709 release, missing out on other enhancements and security fixes.
For those about to embark on a Storage Spaces project from scratch, it may be worthwhile waiting to see how this develops.
Whats new in Windows Server 2016 release 1709
The release starts by explaining how customers can obtain releases.
- Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC): This is business as usual with 5 years of mainstream support and 5 years of extended support. You have the option to upgrade to the next LTSC release every 2-3 years in the same way that has been supported for the last 20 years.
- Semi-Annual Channel (SAC): This is a Software Assurance benefit and is fully supported in production. The difference is that it is supported for 18 months and there will be a new version every six months.
The full release is extensive and contains interesting enhancements to the virtual solution stack and a large number of security improvements. The full release information can be found here.
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