Step by Step: How to deploy Storage Spaces Tiering in System Center VMM 2012 R2 with Update Rollup 8 #HyperV #SCVMM

4 min read

Hello folks,

In the previous post, I showed you how to deploy Hyper-V Extended Port ACLs in VMM Update Rollup 8.

In today’s post, we will continue and cover the second feature in VMM UR8 which is support for Storage Spaces Tiering.

With Update Rollup 8 for System Center Virtual Manager, you can now leverage the Storage Tiering functionality provided by Windows Server 2012 R2 directly from within VMM. This feature will help you enhance your Storage Spaces experience by combining the best performance attributes of SSD (Solid State Disks) with the best cost/capacity attributes of HDD (Hard Disk Drive) together. Once a tier is created, frequently accessed data will be automatically moved to SSDs and infrequently data will be moved to HDDs (the placement of data in storage space tier will kick-off by default every day at 1.00 AM), which will help you utilize your resources efficiently and reduce the overall storage cost of the deployment.

If you want to learn more about Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 R2, I highly encourage you to check below articles:

Storage Spaces Design Consideration Guide and Software-Defined Storage Design Calculator

Demo: Storage Spaces Tiering in Action

How to Extend and Resize a Two-Way Mirrored Storage Tiered Space?

How to Create a Two-Way Mirrored Storage Space using PowerShell?

How to Replace Faulty Disk in Two-Way Mirrored Storage Spaces?

How to Modify Storage Tiers Optimization with PowerShell?

Without further ado, let’s jump and deploy Storage Spaces Tiering from VMM.

What Can You do with this Feature?

  • Create new File Shares with Tiers (SSD/HDD) from within VMM.
  • Discover Tiers in a Storage Pool.

Each of these actions are covered in more details below:

Please note that to create a storage space with storage tiers, the storage pool must have a sufficient number of hard disks (HDDs) and SSDs to support the selected storage layout, and the disks must contain enough free space. For more information, please check the TechNet article here.

Creating new File Shares with Tiers (SSD/HDD) 

Using VMM 2012 R2 UR8, you can now easily create file shares with tiers. The detailed steps on how to create file shares with tiers is mentioned below:

In my demo here, I have two nodes Scale-out File Server with one Storage Pool that includes bunch of HDDs and SSDs.

In the VMM Console:

  1. Open the Fabric workspace.
  2. In the Fabric pane, click Storage, and then on the Home tab, click Create File Share.
  3. In the Storage Type page, select the File server where you want to add the file share, specify the name and description of the File Share. Select the Storage Type as Storage Pool, Select the storage pool & the storage Classification.


Please Note that the storage tiering functionality will only get enabled when you select Storage Pool as the storage type. Storage tiering is not supported for Local Path & Volume Storage Types and these options will work exactly the same as earlier.

4. In the Capacity Page, specify the Size of the file share, the File System type, Storage resiliency method. You will now get a checkbox to Enable Storage Tiers as shown in the screenshot below.

I will create a 50GB File share size.

5. Once you have enabled the checkbox for storage tiering, you need to specify the capacity and resiliency method of each of the storage tiers in the Storage Tiers page.

I will place 25GB on the SSD tier and 25GB on the HDD tier, and Two-way mirror for resiliency.

6. The next page will show you the summary of your selections, verify it and Click Finish.

7. In VMM console you can verify the file that we just created.

Last but not least, I will create a new File Share on top of storage tier but using PowerShell this time.

# Get Storage File Server
$storageFileServer = Get-SCStorageFileServer -VMMServer SCVMM01

# Get Storage Pool
$storagePool = Get-SCStoragePool -VMMServer SCVMM01

# Get Storage Classification
$storageClassification = Get-SCStorageClassification -VMMServer SCVMM01 | Where{$_.Name -eq "Silver"}

# Create the File Share with tiered storage
$storageFileShare = New-SCStorageFileShare -StorageFileServer $storageFileServer -StoragePool $storagePool -Name "MirrorTierShare02" -Description "VMM UR8 Storage Tiering PoSh Demo" -MediaType @("SSD", "HDD") -StorageTierSizeMB @(25600, 25600) -RunAsynchronously -FileSystem "CSVFS_ReFS" -ResiliencySettingName "Mirror" -PhysicalDiskRedundancy "1" -StorageClassification $storageClassification

And here you go…

We can query the storage tier from VMM using Get-SCStorageTier cmdlet.

Get-SCStorageTier | FT Name, StorageArray, ObjectType, MediaType, @{E={$_.Size/1024MB}; L= "Size (GB)" } –AutoSize

Let’s check the view from Server Manager now.

I want to mention that when you are creating a file share from VMM, what is happening under the hood is, a new virtual disk is created that includes the file share with the appropriate permission.

If we look at the view from Failover Cluster Manager…



I hope this post has been informative to you.

Until then… enjoy your day!


About Charbel Nemnom 570 Articles
Charbel Nemnom is a Cloud Architect, Swiss Certified ICT Security Expert, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP), and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), totally fan of the latest's IT platform solutions, accomplished hands-on technical professional with over 17 years of broad IT Infrastructure experience serving on and guiding technical teams to optimize the performance of mission-critical enterprise systems. Excellent communicator is adept at identifying business needs and bridging the gap between functional groups and technology to foster targeted and innovative IT project development. Well respected by peers through demonstrating passion for technology and performance improvement. Extensive practical knowledge of complex systems builds, network design, business continuity, and cloud security.

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