Storage Spaces and Hardware RAID

The following tip is excerpted from my book Training Guide: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 from Microsoft Press:

Storage Spaces cannot be used in conjunction with hardware RAID. Choosing between hardware RAID and Storage Spaces depends on several factors:

  • Choose Storage Spaces when you want to be able to virtualize and deploy shared storage of data using thin provisioning and save money by using low-cost, commodity hard drives, while ensuring a level of resiliency similar to what RAID can provide.
  • Choose a hardware RAID solution for a server when you need to ensure data integrity, fault tolerance, and high performance—for example, a RAID 5 or RAID 6 solution implemented using a RAID controller card. You should also choose hardware RAID when you want to ensure data integrity and fault tolerance for a server’s boot volume—for example, by configuring the boot volume as a RAID 1 or RAID 10 volume.

If a server has a RAID controller card and multiple hard drives and you want to use Storage Spaces to pool together these drives, you need to configure the RAID card to expose each drive separately to the operating system.

The above tip was previously published in an issue of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to WServerNews today by going to and join almost 100,000 other IT professionals around the world who read our newsletter!

Mitch Tulloch is a twelve-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award and a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud computing technologies.  Mitch is also Senior Editor of WServerNews. For more information about him see


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