Storage Spaces Direct hardware requirements

Storage Spaces Direct hardware requirements

  1.  Hardware vendor

Microsoft recommends these Windows Server Software-Defined hardware/software


  1. Base requirements

  • Systems, components, devices, and drivers
    • must be Windows Server 2016 Certified
  • servers, drives, host bus adapters, and network adapters
    • have the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) Standard
    • and/or Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) Premiumadditional qualifications (AQs)


The fully configured cluster (servers, networking, and storage) must pass all cluster validation tests


  • Minimum of 2 servers, maximum of 16 servers
  • Recommended that all servers be the same manufacturer and model
  1. CPU

  • Intel Nehalem or later compatible processor; or
  • AMD EPYC or later compatible processor
  1. Memory

  • Memory for Windows Server, VMs, and other apps or workloads; plus
  • 4 GB of RAM per terabyte (TB) of cache drive capacity on each server, for Storage Spaces Direct metadata
  1. Boot

  • Any boot device supported by Windows Server, which now includes SATADOM
  • RAID 1 mirror is not required, but is supported for boot
  • Recommended: 200 GB minimum size
  1. Networking

Minimum (for small-scale 2-3 node)

  • 10 Gbps network interface
  • Direct-connect (switchless) is supported with 2-nodes

Recommended (for high performance, at scale, or deployments of 4+ nodes)

  • NICs that are remote-direct memory access (RDMA) capable, iWARP (recommended) or RoCE
  • Two or more NICs for redundancy and performance
  • 25 Gbps network interface or higher
  1. Drives

Storage Spaces Direct works with direct-attached SATA, SAS, or NVMe drives that are physically attached to just one server each.

  • SATA, SAS, and NVMe (M.2, U.2, and Add-In-Card) drives are all supported
  • 512n, 512e, and 4K native drives are all supported
  • Solid-state drives must provide power-loss protection
  • Same number and types of drives in every server – see Drive symmetry considerations
  • Recommended: Number of capacity drives is a whole multiple of the number of cache drives
  • Recommended: Cache drives should have high write endurance: at least 3 drive-writes-per-day (DWPD) or at least 4 terabytes written (TBW) per day

how drives can be connected for Storage Spaces Direct:

  1. Direct-attached SATA drives
  2. Direct-attached NVMe drives
  3. SAS host-bus adapter (HBA) with SAS drives
  4. SAS host-bus adapter (HBA) with SATA drives
  5. NOT SUPPORTED:RAID controller cards or SAN (Fibre Channel, iSCSI, FCoE) storage. Host-bus adapter (HBA) cards must implement simple pass-through mode.

Drives can be internal to the server, or in an external enclosure that is connected to just one server. SCSI Enclosure Services (SES) is required for slot mapping and identification. Each external enclosure must present a unique identifier (Unique ID).

  1. Drives internal to the server
  2. Drives in an external enclosure (“JBOD”) connected to one server
  3. NOT SUPPORTED:Shared SAS enclosures connected to multiple servers or any form of multi-path IO (MPIO) where drives are accessible by multiple paths.

Minimum number of drives (excludes boot drive)

  • If there are drives used as cache, there must be at least 2 per server
  • There must be at least 4 capacity (non-cache) drives per server
Drive types present Minimum number required
All NVMe (same model) 4 NVMe
All SSD (same model) 4 SSD
NVMe + SSD 2 NVMe + 4 SSD
NVMe + HDD 2 NVMe + 4 HDD
NVMe + SSD + HDD 2 NVMe + 4 Others

Maximum capacity

  • Recommended: Maximum 100 terabytes (TB) raw storage capacity per server
  • Maximum 1 petabyte (1,000 TB) raw capacity in the storage pool
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