May 10, 2004, 12:00 AM — Last week we looked at some of the advantages of Microsoft's new version
of its Windows Server 2003 Operating System called Windows Storage
Server 2003 (WSS). Specifically we discussed WSS's Volume Shadow Copy
Service. This week we look at the Virtual Disk Service (VDS).
The Virtual Disk Service (VDS) controls the process of making storage
accessible to systems that need it. VDS is responsible for partitioning
physical disks into volumes that can be mapped to across the network.
There are two types of disks that VDS can create: Basic and Dynamic
Basic Disks are physical disks that have been partitioned as a simple
volume, or one that does not span multiple disks. Basic Disks do not
offer the same kind of protection that Dynamic Disks can offer.
Dynamic Disks, on the other hand, can span multiple disks or volumes.
Dynamic Disks can also take advantage of RAID technologies that provide
different levels of fault tolerance. The three primary RAID
technologies used by companies today are:
- RAID 0 (Striped)
- RAID 1 (Mirrored)
- RADI 5 (Striped with Parity)
VDS can also be used for connectivity to back-end SAN solutions that you
may already have in place within your environment.
Additionally, VDS helps alleviate the issue of having multiple storage
hardware vendors in place. Prior to Windows Server 2003 and Windows
Storage Server 2003, it was necessary for the system administrator to
configure each device using a vendor-specific storage management
application. VDS alleviates these issues by providing a single
management interface for multi-vendor storage devices.
Join me text week when we look at Windows Storage Server Multipath I/O