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Storage Management Overview

Published: February 29, 2012

Updated: May 4, 2012

Applies To: Windows Server 2012



This topic discusses the unified interface for storage management in Windows Server 2012, including requirements and an overview of the technology.

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Windows Server 2012 enables storage management that is comprehensive and fully scriptable, and administrators can manage it remotely. A WMI-based interface provides a single mechanism through which to manage all storage, including non-Microsoft intelligent storage subsystems and virtualized local storage (known as Storage Spaces). Additionally, management applications can use a single Windows API to manage different storage types by using standards-based protocols such as Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S).

Your storage infrastructure should support the Storage Management Provider interface or support an appropriate version of SMI-S.

The unified interface for storage management in Windows Server 2012 provides not only a core set of defined WMI and Windows PowerShell interfaces, but also features for more advanced management, as shown in the following figure.

Storage management architecture diagram

Figure 1  Unified storage management architecture

This design offers specific advantages for the following users:

  • Enterprise system administrators. Uniform, scriptable management by using Windows PowerShell with a comprehensive set of cmdlets that can be used for discovery; thin provisioning support; snapshot management; replication; masking and unmasking; enumerating HBA ports; and creating pools, logical units, and volumes. As an example, an administrator can use a single script to configure host resources and to configure and present the storage to Windows.

  • ISVs. Flexibility to administer any type of storage that is connected to a Windows system.

  • Storage manufacturers. Seamless integration of devices with any storage management client, which ensures consistent experience for users.

The unified storage management interface requires the use of a storage management provider that is based on SMI-S or WMI. If you install the Windows Standards-Based Storage Management feature, the interface integrates seamlessly with services offered by SMI-S providers, which enables administrators to manage non-Microsoft intelligent storage subsystems that have SMI-S providers. For WMI-based services, the interface includes a rich set of built-in storage management features that ISVs will find particularly helpful.

For more information about SMI-S and Windows Server 2012, see Introduction to SMI-S.

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