Cloud Definitions

So everyone is talking about Cloud Computing, does Cloud Computing necessary mean that you run your applications or systems in Amazon AWS, Google, Microsoft Azure or any other known cloud you know of?

 The short answer is NO, Cloud Computing is a model build on of characteristics, Service Models and Deployment Models om a combination. 

Cloud Computing Characteristics

  • Self-Service
  • Broad Network Access
  • Resource Pooling
  • Rapid elasticity
  • Measure service

Service Models

  • SaaS
  • PaaS
  • IaaS

Deployment Model

  • Private Cloud
  • Community Cloud
  • Public Cloud
  • Hybrid Cloud


NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) has written a great definition of Cloud Computing you can read up on on this link.

NIST Cloud Definition (PDF)

My Storage Spaces Best Practices

I have been working with storage spaces for a while now and there has been very little documentation that is clear on how to best tune it. Over time I have gathered a bunch of best practices which I have listed below. hopefully some of them might come in handy for you. Recently some new information form Microsoft was also released so its a good read.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a area that is changing allot depending on recommendations from Hardware Vendors and Microsoft so changes may apply, but I will try to keep this post updated.

First off read this new design guide and design calculator that was just released.

  • Read the Design Consideration Guide found here.
  • Use the Design Calculator found here.

Always configure your Storage pools via Powershell

  • Update Drivers and Firmware to the latest supported version
  • Install Latest Hotfixes (Markus has a great list here from 4th June 2015)
  • Disable Trim (fsutil –set disabledeletenotify 1)
  • We have found 4-6 Column count to work very well for most workloads (Dont forget to reduce with 1 disk for failures)
  • Spread Virtual disk across SOFS Nodes
  • Leave the Write Back Cache to 1GB for best experience at fail-overs.
  • Max 80 Disks in Pool, Max 4 Pools per Cluster, Max 64 Virtual Disk/Storage Spaces per pool. (Max 240 Disk in Total)
  • Keep Virtual Disks/Storage Spaces to no more then 10TB
  • Use 64kb Interleave and Block Size for VM Workloads
  • If you want to be able to loose a whole disk enclosure use minimum 3 enclosures and don’t forget to enable enclosure awareness.
  • Reserve ~10-15% for SSD and ~15-20% for HDD of free space for faster rebuilds
  • Choose RepairPolicy – Paralell is faster but can impact I/O and Sequential is slower with less I/O Impact
  • Optimise Parallel Disk Rebuilds Technet Link
  • Set RetireMissingPhysicalDiskPolicy to Always for Auto Repair (Auto Repair will kick in 5 minutes after first failed write)
  • Most scenarios Include Tiering and sometimes you need to reschedule the Schedule Task that does the move of hot and cold data, so keep that in mind. (Microsoft doesn’t recommend running this task more than 4 times per day.)
  • If you will use SharedVHDX  you may need to apply this hotfix KB3025091 or configure your Pool with  -LogicalSectorSizeDefault 512
  • Set MPIO Default Settings to Load Balancing Set-MSDSMGlobalDefaultLoadBalancePolicy –policy LB HDD  Should have LB and Round Robin for SSD (Markus has a nice script here.)


For the SMB Communication we have been using RDMA with Mellanox Connect X3 Pro Cards with good results. Dont forget to configure it for Multichannel.


Other Storage Spaces Resources

Storage Spaces FAQ

Dell Deployment Guide

Channel 9

Spaces-Based, Software-Defined Storage: Design and Configuration Best Practices

Architecting Software Defined Storage: Design Patterns from Real-World Deployments

Best Practices for Deploying Tiered Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 R2

Storage Spaces – Scale-out file server deep dive

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Storage Spaces MVA


Automatic SMB Scale-Out Rebalancing in Windows Server 2012 R2

Step-by-Step for Mirrored Storage Spaces Resiliency using PowerShell

File Server Tip: How to rebalance a Scale-Out File Server using a little PowerShell


Verify that Jumbo Frames are working

So when working in the Private Cloud you often want to enable Jumbo Frames for your storage network. And if you are not in control of the end to end configuration and can veryfy all settings yourself. There is a easy way of testing if Jumbo Frames is configured all thay way.

You can simply run the ping command with the parameters -f and -l and set the length of the packet to verify if packets go through.

ping -f -l 9000 dest-ip


if Jumbo Frames are not enabled you will get the same result as shown above, if its enabled you should get a normal reply from.

Reply from bytes=9000 time=1ms TTL=128

Cloud Drivers

If someone has missed it I am glad to inform you that the Cloud is here. There are so many people talking about the cloud what it is and what it will do to us. If you look from a business perspective you need ways of controlling costs. IT has often been seen as that a COST to the business, and not an enabler or innovation to make business better or more efficient. I am a strong believer that the cloud will be that enabler and bridge moving from old traditional IT to the new mobile innovative platform to conduct business on.The biggest driver for moving to the cloud is to drive cost efficiency and enable mobility. The cloud also means allot to many organisation it means Service Orientation and IT Service Management. Moving to the cloud doesn’t always mean to be a success, moving to the cloud requires a supporting organisation that is IT Service Management Orientated and has control of its processes.


So will this Cloud thing pick up? I am quite sure that it will, organisation want to get in control of their costs and do more with less. If you can run a Virtual Machine with a predictable cost and estimated Service Levels or if you can scale up and down depending on the load you have on your IT Service without having to buy a room full of hardware that may be underutilized for 60% of the year. Or don’t need to look for a new Administrator as soon as he decides to leave for the other company who pays a bit more. Today organisation are getting more mature and want to buy more IT as a Service and focus on their core business values. The graph below is a prediction of the Cloud growth to 2020, its quite a change we are seeing.



KPMG has done a great job in putting a report report together if you want to read the whole thing it will be found on this link.

Welcome to the Cloud

Welcome to the Cloud Advisor blog, In this blog I will take you on a journey to the Cloud. The intention of this blog is to drive awareness about the cloud and how you can use the different cloud technologies we can use to deliver efficient IT Services. There are great movement in both Cloud Computing and Mobility as this is two areas that is of great interest of me Id thought id share some information about it.